Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Square (Segmentum)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.43
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 15.9 cm × W. (weft) 12.8 cm (6 1/4 × 5 1/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

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 square (segmentum) is rendered in tapestry weave in beige, pink-beige, blue, purple, and red-purple. At center, a small square with spindly vegetal patterns is framed by four wide L-shaped forms (gammadia) at each corner. The gammadia are filled with crisscrossing diagonals and tiny circles. Star or cross designs are interspersed between the central design and the outer frame, which consists of repeating cruciform and stepped patterns. The decorative details are rendered in both tapestry weave and supplementary weft decoration.

The small size of this fragment suggests it served as a tunic decoration. Because the weavers used both tapestry weave and supplementary weft decoration, the square has a distinctive, highly textured surface. Though the design is awkwardly and unevenly rendered, its visual interest derives from the density and variety of its motifs, as well as the striking coloration used in the ground and decoration.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.43
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 15.9 cm × W. (weft) 12.8 cm (6 1/4 × 5 1/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

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D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 146.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.43
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 15.9 cm × W. (weft) 12.8 cm (6 1/4 × 5 1/16 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen

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.