Textile fragment - ROM2019_17599_12


Textile fragment

Medium:Chintz: cotton tabby, block-printed mordants and resist
Geography: Western India, for the Egyptian market
Date: c. 1400s
30 x 67 cm
Object number: 978.76.117
Credit Line: Abemayor Collection given in memory of Dr. Veronika Gervers, Associate Curator, Textile Department (1968-1979) by Albert and Federico Friedberg. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
On view
Gallery Location:The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume

The oldest surviving pieces of Indian chintz have been found in Egypt, preserved by the arid climate. This fragment, radiocarbon-dated to ca. 1400, features stylized images of birds, perhaps peacocks.

One thousand years ago, Egypt was importing enormous quantities of chintz from western India for garments and home furnishings. The design vocabulary for this Islamic market included geometric shapes, stylized plants and birds, and Arabic inscriptions. Cottons painted in three colours were luxuries, but block prints in two colours were more affordable to common people. Their still-vivid colours are astounding.

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