Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment with Clavus

 
Accession numberBZ.1972.5
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 2nd–late 4th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 34.2 cm × W. (warp) 11.4 cm (13 7/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen and weft-loop pile in undyed linen on plain-weave ground in undyed linen

Acquisition history

Collection of Royall Tyler (1884–1953), Paris; Gift of his son, William R. Tyler (1910–2003), Washington, DC, in 1972; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

This rectangular fragment features a clavus in deep purple and beige in tapestry weave, set within a beige field in weft-loop pile. Remnants of plain weave near what would have been the selvage are preserved below the area with pile. The clavus features a relatively simple design, with the only decorative element being a small twist.

This textile preserves a fragment of a once hefty garment that featured insulation in weft-loop pile. In its current configuration, the textile has been mounted inside out in order to show off the pile side, which would have appeared on the inside of the garment. The outer part of the garment, in contrast, would have appeared as a smooth tapestry-woven fabric. The insulation provided by weft loops served to buffer the wearer from cold and chill.For a discussion, see K. Colburn, “Loops, Tabs, and Reinforced Edges: Evidence for Textiles as Architectural Elements,” n3. A complete tunic with tapestry decoration and an interior lined in wool-pile is held in New York.New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 90.5.901, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/444374. Two fragments of a weft-loop pile garment with details in deep purple tapestry weave, both now held in Paris, have been radiocarbon dated to the second to fourth centuries.Paris, Musée du Louvre, E 26124. Information taken from publicly available results published on “Textile Dates” database, Abteilung Christliche Archäologie, Universität Bonn, http://ww.textile-dates.info/textile_list_start.php?textile_id=159.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1972.5
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 2nd–late 4th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 34.2 cm × W. (warp) 11.4 cm (13 7/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen and weft-loop pile in undyed linen on plain-weave ground in undyed linen

Acquisition history

Collection of Royall Tyler (1884–1953), Paris; Gift of his son, William R. Tyler (1910–2003), Washington, DC, in 1972; 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.1972.5
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 2nd–late 4th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 34.2 cm × W. (warp) 11.4 cm (13 7/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen and weft-loop pile in undyed linen on plain-weave ground in undyed linen

Acquisition history

Collection of Royall Tyler (1884–1953), Paris; Gift of his son, William R. Tyler (1910–2003), Washington, DC, in 1972; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 1.

D. Thompson, “Further Observations on the Classification of Coptic Textiles III: Some Early Garment Ornaments and Curtain Fragments in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection,” BullCIETA 69 (1991): fig. 1.

Accession numberBZ.1972.5
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 2nd–late 4th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 34.2 cm × W. (warp) 11.4 cm (13 7/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen and weft-loop pile in undyed linen on plain-weave ground in undyed linen

Acquisition history

Collection of Royall Tyler (1884–1953), Paris; Gift of his son, William R. Tyler (1910–2003), Washington, DC, in 1972; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.