Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Medallion (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.51
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 16.0 cm × W. (weft) 17.8 cm (6 5/16 × 7 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 roundel is rendered in tapestry weave in beige, pink, red, orange, yellow, light green, green, light blue-green, light blue, blue, and dark blue. It has been applied to a light blue ground in tapestry weave, which has been cut to the same shape as the medallion. The center of the medallion features a human bust with raised arms, surrounded by a scattered pattern with geometrical shapes, vegetal motifs, and quadrupeds. A colorful notched border frames the medallion’s edge.

The color scheme of the tapestry-woven roundel and its placement on a light blue backing fabric connect it technically and visually to two clavi in the Dumbarton Oaks collection (BZ.1953.2.50 and BZ.1953.2.52). It is likely that these three pieces originally came from the same tunic. Like those clavi, the roundel combines human figures, animal motifs, and floral elements arranged in lattice patterns on a red ground. While the bust-length, frontal figure with raised arms at center is not identifiable, its iconography recalls depictions of personifications or allegorical figures. A roundel with similar patterns and coloration is kept in New York.New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 90.5.856, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/444334.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.51
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 16.0 cm × W. (weft) 17.8 cm (6 5/16 × 7 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.

Washington, DC, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Ornament: Fragments of Byzantine Fashion, September 10, 2019—January 5, 2020.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.51
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 16.0 cm × W. (weft) 17.8 cm (6 5/16 × 7 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. 89.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.51
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 16.0 cm × W. (weft) 17.8 cm (6 5/16 × 7 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.

Related Content

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.51
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 7th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (warp) 16.0 cm × W. (weft) 17.8 cm (6 5/16 × 7 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.