Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment of a Hanging with Flower Bud

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.58
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 7.7 cm × W. (warp) 7.0 cm (3 1/16 × 2 3/4 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.

Detailed dimensions

Height: 7.7 cm (weft direction)

Width: 7.0 cm (warp direction)

 

Materials

Warp: Linen, single spun S-direction (S), paired, 7–9/cm; undyed

Weft: Wool, single spun S-direction (S), 12–28/cm; yellow, pale pink, red, blue, green. Linen, single spun S direction (S), 28/cm; undyed.

 

Technique

Tapestry weave

 

Discussion

This small fragment with a flower bud was part of a larger composition (see BZ.1953.2.56, BZ.1953.2.59, BZ.1953.2.75, and BZ.1953.2.94). It was probably one of many motifs that would have been woven into a field of plain-weave ground in undyed linen. The bud was woven in tapestry weave in colored wool weft on an undyed paired linen warp. Color junctures were achieved with slits, and non-horizontal wefts create contours. No technical details identify its original orientation; more complete weavings demonstrate that blossom motifs were placed in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Here the fragment is shown with the warps running horizontally to the composition.

 

Condition

The fragment was cut from a larger textile. It is fragile along its edges. The color preservation of the wool weft is good.

 

Conservation history

Stitched to a support fabric (2003)

 

—Kathrin Colburn, May 2019

 
Accession numberBZ.1953.2.58
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 7.7 cm × W. (warp) 7.0 cm (3 1/16 × 2 3/4 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.

The alternation of linen in plain weave and natural wool in tapestry weave in the interior of the petals on this small flower bud gives fullness to its shape.D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 37. A dark outline articulates the overall shape and the individual petals. Remains of a green stem are visible at the base.   

Buds and leaves are among the most common motifs on late antique textiles.For two comparatives specific to BZ.1953.2.58, see Paris, Musée du Louvre, X4274 and X4566: P. du Bourguet, Musée national du Louvre: Catalogue des étoffes coptes (Paris, 1964), 322, no. F 202, and 320, no. F 198. These elements appear in great variety in terms of design and size, used singularly or in patterns, on textiles of all types, from hangings to tunics. The popularity of these motifs is attested by their inclusion on papyrus pattern sheets and their appearance on textiles found across the Mediterranean world.For pattern sheets, see A. Stauffer, Antike Musterblätter: Wirkkartons aus dem spätantiken und frühbyzantinischen Ägypten (Wiesbaden, 2008), 164–69, plates 38–39. Over a dozen textiles with buds and leaves were excavated at Halabiye, Syria, on the Euphrates: see R. Pfister, Textiles de Halabiyeh (Zénobia): Découverts par le Service des Antiquités de la Syrie dans la nécropole de Halabiyeh sur l’Euphrate (Paris, 1951), 12, no. 12, plate VI; 15–16, nos. 16–17, plate VII; 16, no. 18, plate IX; 16, no. 19, plate VIII; 17, no. 21, plate IX; 17–18, nos. 22, 23, 25, 26, plate X; 18, no. 28, plate VI; 20, nos. 34–35, plate XII.

—Helen C. Evans and Brandie Ratliff, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.58
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 7.7 cm × W. (warp) 7.0 cm (3 1/16 × 2 3/4 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. 37.

Accession numberBZ.1953.2.58
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–7th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 7.7 cm × W. (warp) 7.0 cm (3 1/16 × 2 3/4 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.