Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Clavus Fragment

 
Accession numberBZ.1973.32
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 42.9 cm × W. (weft) 6.4 cm (16 7/8 × 2 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and 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 clavus is woven in tapestry weave in beige, red, yellow-tan, green, and dark blue. The main field consists of a red-and-white pattern of leaves and vines. The background colors switch midway up the clavus from red to beige. The border features a pattern of undulating and interlocking vines.

This clavus likely came from a tunic. The ornamental strip connecting the body of the clavus to the medallion is unusually elongated, giving the piece rather unusual proportions. The combination of red and beige decoration here suggests that the piece emulates two-tone silks, many of which are associated with Akhmīm.For a list of many examples, along with radiocarbon dating and dye analyses, see A. De Moor, S. Schrenk, and C. Verhecken-Lammens, “New Research on the So-Called Akhmim Silks,” in Textiles in situ: Their Find Spots in Egypt and Neighbouring Countries in the First Millennium CE, ed. S. Schrenk (Riggisberg, 2006), 85–94. The textiles were recently discussed by T. K. Thomas, “Silks of the Panopolis (Akhmim) Group,” in Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th Century, ed. H. C. Evans and B. Ratliff (New York, 2012), 154–59, no. 103A–G. For a similar design rationale and further discussion, see BZ.1953.2.6.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1973.32
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 42.9 cm × W. (weft) 6.4 cm (16 7/8 × 2 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and 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.1973.32
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 42.9 cm × W. (weft) 6.4 cm (16 7/8 × 2 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and 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. 80.

Accession numberBZ.1973.32
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 5th–10th c.
Measurements

H. (weft) 42.9 cm × W. (weft) 6.4 cm (16 7/8 × 2 1/2 in.)

Technique and Material

Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and 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.