Fragment of a tapestry band - ROM2008_9753_17


Fragment of a tapestry band

Maker: Coptic
Medium:Linen and wool tapestry
Geography: Egypt
Date: 7th-8th century
Period: Early Byzantine
42 x 8 cm
Object number: 910.131.100
Credit Line: The Walter Massey Collection
Not on view

The band is woven upright on the loom (parallel to the warp), so it is probably not the shoulder band of a tunic (woven sideways, or perpendicular to the warp), but the weave direction would be correct for the band decorating the hem or neck of a tunic. Two types of roundel alternate on a dark blue ground: one roundel has an 8-pointed star containing a rosette on a white ground, with red scrolls in the surrounding space; the other roundel has a pearl border and contains stylized flowers and leaves on a dark blue ground. There are jewelled rosettes and stylized florets between the roundels.

The composition and design show the influence of early drawloom-woven silks, especially the medallion silks of the Early Byzantine period (6th - 8th century). The pearl borders of the roundels show Sasanian influence, strongest in the 6th-7th century but continuing much later. The advanced abstraction and disintegration of the motifs tends to favour a date in the 7th-8th century.

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