Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Roundel (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.37
Attribution and Date
Egypt, late 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 12.8 cm × W. (weft) 13.2 cm (5 1/16 × 5 3/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

This medallion is rendered in tapestry weave in beige, pink, light orange, yellow, light green, green blue, light blue, blue, and light purple. It depicts two standing human figures flanking a floral motif that resembles a flowering tree. The medallion’s outer border consists of a series of abstracted floral and geometric motifs in the same color scheme on a blue ground.

The small size of this medallion suggests it was originally a tunic decoration. Though faded today, the variations in the hues of the weft threads used in the design indicate the weavers’ skillful attention to color and shading. The precise meaning of the iconography is unclear: it appears to represent a winged genius or putto at left, who faces a richly dressed personage in a short, elaborate tunic at right.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.37
Attribution and Date
Egypt, late 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 12.8 cm × W. (weft) 13.2 cm (5 1/16 × 5 3/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 128.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.37
Attribution and Date
Egypt, late 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 12.8 cm × W. (weft) 13.2 cm (5 1/16 × 5 3/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool

Acquisition history

Crocker Collection, San Francisco, Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934); Loaned to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953; Gift of Mrs. Andre de Limur (Ethel Mary Crocker de Limur, 1891–1964), Washington, DC, in 1953; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.