Dumbarton Oaks Microsite

Fragment with Roundel (Orbiculus)

 
Accession numberBZ.1974.7
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

Roundel: H. (weft) 9.2 cm × W. (warp) 8.2 cm (3 5/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
Ground: H. (warp) 12.2 cm x W. (weft) 17.5 cm (4 13/16 × 6 7/8 in.)

Technique and Material

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

Acquisition history

Collection of the Byzantine Institute, to 1974; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

This irregularly shaped fragment preserves a medallion in tapestry weave stitched to a red plain-weave ground. The medallion is rendered in beige, red-orange, orange, yellow, dark green, blue, and dark blue. It depicts a central motif of mirrored flowers and leaves surrounded by a colorful border with a stepped design.

It is difficult to tell whether this fragment comes from a garment or furnishing textile. Although the plain-weave ground is very loosely woven overall, the weavers introduced texture to the structure by creating bands of denser plain weave that give the impression of stripes. Though Deborah Thompson suggested that the medallion was added to the weaving in late antiquity, it is difficult to definitively prove this.D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 82.

—Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, May 2019

 

Notes

Accession numberBZ.1974.7
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

Roundel: H. (weft) 9.2 cm × W. (warp) 8.2 cm (3 5/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
Ground: H. (warp) 12.2 cm x W. (weft) 17.5 cm (4 13/16 × 6 7/8 in.)

Technique and Material

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

Acquisition history

Collection of the Byzantine Institute, to 1974; 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.1974.7
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

Roundel: H. (weft) 9.2 cm × W. (warp) 8.2 cm (3 5/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
Ground: H. (warp) 12.2 cm x W. (weft) 17.5 cm (4 13/16 × 6 7/8 in.)

Technique and Material

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

Acquisition history

Collection of the Byzantine Institute, to 1974; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.

D. Thompson, “Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection” (unpublished catalogue, Washington, DC, 1976), no. 82.

Accession numberBZ.1974.7
Attribution and Date
Egypt, 4th–10th c.
Measurements

Roundel: H. (weft) 9.2 cm × W. (warp) 8.2 cm (3 5/8 × 3 1/4 in.)
Ground: H. (warp) 12.2 cm x W. (weft) 17.5 cm (4 13/16 × 6 7/8 in.)

Technique and Material

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

Acquisition history

Collection of the Byzantine Institute, to 1974; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC.