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Catalog Number CAS 0389-2375   CAS 0389-2375; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 370-435 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Piece cut from a woman’s mantle or veil. This piece is decorated with four dark purple squares symmetrically arranged on a plain, light tan ground. The squares are patterned with geometric designs worked in tan. The ground is linen rep, 26 x 20 [warp : weft per square cm], the tapestry squares are wool on linen warp. The yarn is fine and so densely packed that the thread count cannot be determined. The weft-float patterning of the surface was worked in two gauges of linen yarn. The rep ground has fringed edges and decorative ridges made from groups of bundled weft yarns placed at intervals. The sequence is as follows, from one preserved edge to the other: fringe, 2 cm, plain weave, 2 cm. In the center of this latter is a ridge composed of four shots of bundled wefts. Next is 2 cm of bare warp followed by 1 cm of plain weave. Last there is a group of ridges about 2 cm wide containing three smaller groups, each formed from three shots of bundled weft. After this is 59 cm of plain weave, and then the edge treatment is repeated in reverse, ending with fringe. The other two edges have been cut with shears, most certainly in recent times. The tapestry squares are approximately 13 x 13 cm and are placed in the corners of an imaginary square 48 cm on a side. Their decoration was precisely worked in two gauges of natural-color linen yarn. They originally were part of [an older] linen textile that was slightly coarser than the one they now decorate. The cut edges were neatly turned under and the square whip-stitched in place. At some point in this operation the cloth behind the squares was trimmed away. All yarn is S-twist. Late fourth or early fifth century. Remarks: Fringed veils sparsely ornamented with colored squares are worn by the female martyrs shown in procession on the upper left side of the nave of Sant’Appollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy; this depiction lends support to the identification of [this] fragment as part of a woman’s garment (Paolucci 1978:58). The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 1-16 (CAS 0389-2375, -2376, -2377, -2394, -2397, -2398, -2402, -2403, -2406, -2407, -2413, -2421, -2425, -2426, -2583, -2586)] are the earliest in the collection and belong to the period dominated by Rome. A number of them represent types of garments that could have indicated social rank or would have been appropriate wear for persons with high positions in the extensive bureaucracy of the period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 9, pp. 82, 94-95.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 68.0, Length = 70.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2376   CAS 0389-2376; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 400-500 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Rectangle cut from a mantle (?) (sic). The principal motif is a star, dark purple on a plain ground, originally white but now discolored. The eight-pointed star was constructed from two overlapping squares. The top square has a cable border and a center roundel containing an intricate knot pattern delineated in linen thread. The corners contain ivy leaves and tendrils worked in two colors of yarn, saffron and cream. The colors were woven in separate shots, two saffron, one cream, and repeat (sic). The small roundel in the center was worked in the same way and in the same colors. Only the corners of the bottom square are visible - they contain vine leaves. From one of these depends, or extends, a rinceau band with a vase motif at the end. The ground is linen rep, 18-26 x 9 [warp : weft per square cm]; the motif is tapestry, wool and linen weft on grouped linen warps, 5 x 36 [warp : weft per square cm]. The surface of the tapestry motif is ornamented in weft-float patterning carried out in two gauges of linen yarn. The piece retains one selvedge, most probably the right-hand one. The sequence of weaving appears to have been as follows: (1) An area of rep was woven up to the bottom of the main motif. (2) Warps to be used for the tapestry portions were selected and a second set of heddles put in place. In doing this, the selected warps were doubled or tripled, in no obvious sequence, and the unneeded warps left to float at the back. (3) Woven next were a few centimeters of tapestry, complete with weft-float ornament. (4) Concurrent with the weaving of the tapestry, a corresponding number of centimeters of rep were woven, filling the space on either side of the tapestry insert. The shots for the rep cross the warp in a straight line and pass under the tapestry insert and behind the unused warps. A number of these are still extant; others appear to have been cut away. Small, irregular spaces around the tapestry inserts are filled in with tapestry worked in the same linen yarn used for the rep portions of the piece in order to make these filler areas less conspicuous. (5) Steps 3 and 4 were repeated until the tapestry insert was completed. After the shape of the insert was established, the weaver appears to have woven the tapestry in sections in order to define the inner forms of the design; for example, the two lower corners of the square section were worked slightly ahead of the center roundel, building up an arc into which the center roundel fits. This helps retain the symmetry of the roundel, always in danger of becoming an oval under the downward action of the beater as the weft is compressed. The use of grouped linen warps for the tapestry portions of a two-fiber textile are clearly visible in [this specimen] where the wool weft has disintegrated. All yarn is S-twist. Fifth century. Related examples: Paris, Louvre AC 181 (Du Bourguet 1964) and Moscow, Pushkin Museum inv. #320 (Shurinova 1967:54). Remarks: A star motif of identical form decorates the mantle of the principal court lady of the empress Theodora shown in the sixth-century apse mosaic of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. [This] textile may have been part of a similar, though earlier, woman’s mantle. Note the protective interlace in the middle, here relegated to a relatively minor part of the design, The ivy leaves are a Classical motif that refers sometimes to the god Dionysus and his maenad followers, and sometimes to his follower, Orpheus, around whom an important cult developed in the late Roman period. Orphism is related to Pythagoreanism, which holds that numbers and geometric constructions have esoteric meanings and powers. Some late Roman or Coptic geometric ornaments may have been inspired by Pythagorean philosophy. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 1-16 (CAS 0389-2375, -2376, -2377, -2394, -2397, -2398, -2402, -2403, -2406, -2407, -2413, -2421, -2425, -2426, -2583, -2586)] are the earliest in the collection and belong to the period dominated by Rome. A number of them represent types of garments that could have indicated social rank or would have been appropriate wear for persons with high positions in the extensive bureaucracy of the period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 8, pp. 82, 92-93.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 33.0, Length = 54.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2377   CAS 0389-2377; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 300-350 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Tapestry insert cut from a linen textile. The design is a dark, purple-tinged brown, eight-pointed star composed of two separate, never-ending knots, interlaced together. The bands of the interlace are double; one half is plain, the other filled with a spiral-wave design. The square and triangular spaces not covered by the bands are filled with trefoils; the octagon in the middle is filled with an allover (sic) design of lozenges. What little remains of the ground is cream-colored and the patterning is tan. The insert is made from wool and linen wefts woven on grouped linen warp, 6 x 58 [warp : weft per square cm], with weft-float patterning in two sizes of linen yarn. Originally part of a large (?) (sic) linen textile, now all that remains is this tapestry insert. It was woven in segments, horizontal and vertical bars and triangles. The outlines of these forms correspond to the lines of the interlace and its filler motifs. Slits were whip-stitched closed with linen yarn, an application that is at once practical and decorative. The wool yarn may have been purple originally. Color changes indicate that at least two different dye lots of yarn were used. These changes also testify to the section-by-section method of weaving described. All yarn is S-twist. First half of the fourth century. Related examples: Paris, Louvre AC 150 (Du Bourguet 1964, no. A 11) and Washington D.C. (sic), Textile Museum 71.104 (Trilling 1982, no. 82). Remarks: A patch pasted on the back in recent times could be a scrap of the original linen that surrounded the insert. The intact textile may have been an altar cloth. The southern lunette of the sanctuary of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy contains a mosaic depicting the sacrifices of Abel and Melchizedek (Grabar 1966:156). The cloth on their alter is ornamented with an eight-pointed star very similar in form to [this] specimen. Complex interlace patterns are almost universally believed to have protective powers, guarding against the evil eye. The tendency when looking at such a pattern is to trace the path of the interlace visually, thus keeping the eye moving. (It was a fixed stare that was considered dangerous.) Some ancient beliefs held that even sacred things needed protection from the evil eye. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 1-16 (CAS 0389-2375, -2376, -2377, -2394, -2397, -2398, -2402, -2403, -2406, -2407, -2413, -2421, -2425, -2426, -2583, -2586)] are the earliest in the collection and belong to the period dominated by Rome. A number of them represent types of garments that could have indicated social rank or would have been appropriate wear for persons with high positions in the extensive bureaucracy of the period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 4, pp. 82, 86-87.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 28.0, Length = 30.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2378   CAS 0389-2378; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 500-535 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a decorated textile. The framework of the design is a simple rinceau. In the roundels formed by the stems are a kneeling man, a basket, and a large-eyed hound wearing a broad collar. Vine and figures are purple with touches of yellow, and the basket is red, yellow, and green. The background is cream. What remains of the textile is tapestry weave, wool and linen wefts on paired linen warps, 7 x 14 [warp : weft per square cm]. The weft shots follow the curves of the design rather than crossing in straight lines. The warps are strictly divided, two by two. All yarn is S-twist. Early sixth century. Remarks: Like Number 28 [CAS 0389-2385], this fragment may have been a part of a square cushion ornament. For the symbolism of the dog wearing a collar see remarks [for CAS 0389-2433]. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 27-40 (CAS 0389-2378, -2380, -2385, -2386, -2388, -2400, -2404, -2412, -2429, -2430, -2433, -2451, -2452, -2539, -2584, -2585):] By the sixth century two basic types of textile ornaments were used to decorate garments. One, which was in use before the fourth century, was essentially monochrome. Designs in the monochrome class were both non-representational and figurative - the latter included a wide range of subject matter: plant, animal, human, and mythological. The second type is polychrome. Polychrome textiles had been made earlier, but not for use as garments. Extant examples are thought to have been decorative hangings, woven pictures as it were, that are commonly called tapestries. The use of what are essentially miniature tapestries for embellishing clothing is believed to have begun in the sixth century and to have lasted well into the Muslim period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 30, pp. 116, 120-121.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 8.0, Length = 27.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2379   CAS 0389-2379; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Antinoöpolis (Shaikh Abada aka El Sheik Abara)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 400-500 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Tunic fragment. The design areas on this fragment are a rectangular motif from the shoulder portion of the tunic and a part of one clavus. The rectangle has a spiral-wave border. Inside is an oval framing an armed man, perhaps a gladiator. The clavus is decorated with a well-formed stylized grapevine with leaves and grape clusters. Level with the shoulder motif is a small, equal-armed, dark purple cross with dots in the angles. A second cross, this one light on dark (sic) appears in a small rectangle at one end of the clavus. The design was executed in linen and wool yarns. The latter is now dark purple tinged with brown, but the color may have been brighter originally. The ground is natural linen rep, 20 x 13 [warp : weft per square cm]. The clavus and the shoulder rectangle are tapestry, woven on grouped warps in wool and linen yarns. The rep ground has shadow weft stripes formed of bundles of weft. The shots forming the stripes occur in pairs or in groups of three. Tapestry ornaments have curved wefts that follow the lines of the design. Small details were picked out in linen yarn worked as erratic weft floats while weaving was in progress. All yarn is S-twist. Fifth century. Remarks: While the decorative motifs on this fragment are Classical in origin, the crosses may indicate that the original owner of the tunic was a Christian or someone who believed that the cross served as a protective device. The fully dressed and armed warrior is set to fight mortal dangers, not spiritual ones, yet may also have a protective intent. The size of the decorative elements indicates that the tunic was a small one, no doubt intended for a child. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 17-26 (CAS 0389-2379, -2381, -2383, -2387, -2395, -2408A,B, -2418, -2428, -2431, -2587)] are reportedly from Shaikh Abada, or El Sheik Abara - the Arabic name for the site is transliterated variously. The ancient city was named Antinoöpolis after a beautiful Greek youth who drowned near there. It was founded in his memory by the emperor Hadrian around A.D. 13. A major weaving center in antiquity, some of its products have a classical flavor that may derive from Hadrian’s interest in early Greek art. The archaic style of Greece was revived during his reign. Later, in the Christian period, Antinoöpolis became the site of a famous monastery founded by Saint Samuel. While it is impossible to place total reliance on antique dealers’ attributions, the textiles in this group have similarities that make a common source believable. It is assumed that Rietz purchased them as a group, perhaps from a dealer in the vicinity.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 20, pp. 29, 102, 108-109.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 13.0, Length = 34.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2380   CAS 0389-2380; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Bawit (Baweet), probably
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 500-600 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Wool
Description “Fragment of an ecclesiastical tapestry from Bawit (?) (sic). The elements of the design were worked in two shades of dull yellow, a (sic) brick red, dull green, and indigo blue. What remains of the design is a portion of a decorated band framed by two narrower plain ones. In the center of the main is a strangely formed quadruped with hooves, large ears, and a long, thick tail. On the right is a jeweled cross with four birds in the angle formed on the upright and crossbar. On the left is an unoccupied jeweled throne, only partly preserved, with a bird above the remaining arm. Four small beasts with long ears and tails fill the remaining areas of the background. The fragment was woven in tapestry weave, entirely in wool, 9 x 20 [warp : weft per square cm]. It was carefully worked; the back of the piece appears nearly the same as the front, with no hanging threads and almost no weft floats. All yarn is S-twist. Sixth century. Related examples: Jeweled crosses with birds in the angles appear on textiles in London, Victoria and Albert Museum (Kendrick 1921: no. 313 pl. 5, no. 314 pl. 6). Remarks: The themes on this textile fragment are decidedly Christian in nature and are often found in Byzantine art. The empty throne symbolizes the preparation for the second coming of Christ. The jeweled cross signifies the Transfiguration of Christ. The beast may represent one of the Evangelists, Saint Luke, in his symbolic form of a bull. If so, the other three Evangelists were undoubtedly also present on the tapestry when it was complete. The theme of the vacant jeweled throne, the Hetoimasia, appears in the cupola mosaics of the Arian Baptistery in Ravenna, built in the last fifth century (Paolucci 1978:55). [This] tapestry is slightly later in date. Since it was woven with both sides nearly alike, the piece may have belonged to a church or baptistery door curtain. Bawit, where the piece is thought to have been found, is the site of a large and important monastery that grew and flourished for nearly a millennium. It was founded by a follower of Saint Pachomius the Great in the early fifth century. A large burial ground associated with it has been a rich source of textile remains. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 27-40 (CAS 0389-2378, -2380, -2385, -2386, -2388, -2400, -2404, -2412, -2429, -2430, -2433, -2451, -2452, -2539, -2584, -2585):] By the sixth century two basic types of textile ornaments were used to decorate garments. One, which was in use before the fourth century, was essentially monochrome. Designs in the monochrome class were both non-representational and figurative - the latter included a wide range of subject matter: plant, animal, human, and mythological. The second type is polychrome. Polychrome textiles had been made earlier, but not for use as garments. Extant examples are thought to have been decorative hangings, woven pictures as it were, that are commonly called tapestries. The use of what are essentially miniature tapestries for embellishing clothing is believed to have begun in the sixth century and to have lasted well into the Muslim period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 37, pp. 116, 130-131; color plate, p. 73.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 19.0, Length = 12.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2381   CAS 0389-2381; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Antinoöpolis (Shaikh Abada aka El Sheik Abara)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 800-1000 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Wool
Description “Fragment of a tunic sleeve. The fragment has a dark yellow ground with figures and borders in dark brown. The design is a band with spiral-wave borders framing a row of figures. The figures that remain on the fragment are two warriors and, between them, a small lion. The ground line along which the lion runs is at a right angle to that of the warriors. The entire piece is woven in tapestry, wool weft on wool warp, 8 x 20-50 [warp : weft per square cm]. The weaving is fine and even and the reverse is unusually neat with short weft floats. All yarn is S-twist. A ninth- or tenth-century version of a sixth-century motif. Remarks: The yellow ground and certain features of the design indicate that the piece may have been made during a period of persecution after the Arab conquest when Coptic Egyptians were required to wear yellow garments, either during the time of Tulunid governors, 868-906 [CE], or the succeeding Ikhshidid dynasty, 935-969 [CE]. The piece is another member of the class of Coptic textiles discussed in the remarks for Number 16 [CAS 0389-2426]. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 17-26 (CAS 0389-2379, -2381, -2383, -2387, -2395, -2408A,B, -2418, -2428, -2431, -2587)] are reportedly from Shaikh Abada, or El Sheik Abara - the Arabic name for the site is transliterated variously. The ancient city was named Antinoöpolis after a beautiful Greek youth who drowned near there. It was founded in his memory by the emperor Hadrian around A.D. 13. A major weaving center in antiquity, some of its products have a classical flavor that may derive from Hadrian’s interest in early Greek art. The archaic style of Greece was revived during his reign. Later, in the Christian period, Antinoöpolis became the site of a famous monastery founded by Saint Samuel. While it is impossible to place total reliance on antique dealers’ attributions, the textiles in this group have similarities that make a common source believable. It is assumed that Rietz purchased them as a group, perhaps from a dealer in the vicinity.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 25, pp. 102, 114-115; color plate, p. 70.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 7.0, Length = 20.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2382   CAS 0389-2382; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 1000-1100 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Decorated roundel from a tunic. The dark pink ground of this piece is slightly faded (the reverse is darker than the front). The design is worked in linen that has darkened with time and dirt. The main motif is a starlike (sic), linear floral interlace with a small, spirited lion occupying the center. Around the edge is a row of small crosses attached by their bases to the narrow band that encircles the roundel. The roundel is woven on two-ply Z-twist linen warp, with S-twist wool and linen weft, 11 x 76 [warp : weft per square cm]. The technique is tapestry, worked with curving wefts that follow the line of the design. There are long weft floats on the back. Like so many of the extant textiles, this roundel was cut from another, probably worn-out, garment and reused. The edges were turned under and the piece was attached to the new garment by rather long, judging from the spacing of the needle holes, running stitches. All yarn is S-twist. Eleventh century. Remarks: Lions, as mentioned previously [CAS 0389-2431], have protective attributes. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 69, pp. 136, 180-181.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 11.0, Length = 11.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2383   CAS 0389-2383; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Antinoöpolis (Shaikh Abada aka El Sheik Abara)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 470-535 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a textile ornament. The fragment retains a group of figures rendered in dark brown on a linen ground that is considerably discolored. The design is a roundel delineated by a plain, solid-color band enclosing a group of men and lions. The men are armed with large stones and small shields, and they wear short mantles. Each attacks a lion. The lion-man groups face in opposite directions and are set one above the other on a diagonal. What remains of the piece is tapestry on grouped linen warps, linen and wool weft 15 x 40 [warp : weft per square cm]. Curving wefts help to accentuate the design. A few small details appear to be embroidered. All yarn is S-twist. Late fifth or early sixth century. Related examples: The style and form of ornamentation on a child’s tunic in Brooklyn, acc. # 749 (Thompson 1971:44, no. 17) is quite similar to [this] fragment. Remarks: The appearance of the textile of which this is a fragment may be inferred from the Brooklyn child’s tunic. In the Brooklyn example, the roundel (really more nearly an oval) that contains the figures is set in a rectangle that is in turn framed with a rinceau. Battles between men and animals are thought to signify the struggle between the good and evil in human nature. The idea is an ancient one, retained in later times. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 17-26 (CAS 0389-2379, -2381, -2383, -2387, -2395, -2408A,B, -2418, -2428, -2431, -2587)] are reportedly from Shaikh Abada, or El Sheik Abara - the Arabic name for the site is transliterated variously. The ancient city was named Antinoöpolis after a beautiful Greek youth who drowned near there. It was founded in his memory by the emperor Hadrian around A.D. 13. A major weaving center in antiquity, some of its products have a classical flavor that may derive from Hadrian’s interest in early Greek art. The archaic style of Greece was revived during his reign. Later, in the Christian period, Antinoöpolis became the site of a famous monastery founded by Saint Samuel. While it is impossible to place total reliance on antique dealers’ attributions, the textiles in this group have similarities that make a common source believable. It is assumed that Rietz purchased them as a group, perhaps from a dealer in the vicinity.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 21, pp. 102, 110.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 7.0, Length = 10.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2384   CAS 0389-2384; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 900-1000 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Oval garment ornament. The ornament has a wide, outer border with dark pink ground and a linear rinceau worked in linen, now beige in color, but originally white. In a smaller oval in the center is a stylized flower in a wreath of multicolored leaves, dark pink, dull yellow, and two shades of green. The ground is beige. The weave is tapestry with linen warp, wool and linen weft, 9 x 50 [warp : weft per square cm]. The work is exceptionally fine with short weft floats on the back. All yarn is S-twist. Tenth century. Remarks: Multicolored leaves arranged in bands or garlands form a common motif in architectural mosaics. An early example appears in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia at Ravenna, Italy, built in the fifth century. [This] textile version is more rigid and is certainly later in date. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 70, pp. 136, 180-181.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 9.0, Length = 12.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2385   CAS 0389-2385; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 500-600 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a tapestry square from a cushion (?) (sic). This fragment is part of a square motif with a wide, compound border enclosing five roundels, a small one in each corner, a large one in the center. The pattern is worked in purple, green, orange, and red on a cream-colored ground. The main part of the border contains a braid delineated in white on a purple ground. At the outer edge is an inverted arcade with a small roundel under each arch. What remains of the large central roundel indicates that it may have contained a representation of a centaur. The one extant corner roundel contains a male figure wearing a short cloak and apparently trampling grapes, represented by thirteen purple dots. Next to this corner roundel is a vase from which grows a grapevine. This piece was woven entirely in tapestry with wool and linen weft on wool warp, 11 x 40 [warp : weft per square cm]. Details and the pattern of the border were worked in weft floats. All yarn is S-twist. Sixth century. Remarks: The 3.4 cm of surviving selvedge indicates that the piece may have been woven as a single unit that was then stitched to a larger textile. Similar specimens have been discovered attached to weft-loop-pile textiles intended to cover cushions. This piece belongs to a large group of polychrome textiles that retain design elements derived from Greek art but which have acquired Christian symbolism. Vintage scenes showing the crushing of the grapes to make wine can be understood as a symbol for the sacrifice of Jesus. An overflowing vase, here overflowing with grapevines, sometimes signifies one of the rivers of Paradise. When complete, the design may have included a total of four vases, one for each of the four rivers of Paradise. A centaur or a horseman is a symbol of good, controlling or attempting to control one’s baser instincts. Colorful as this piece is, it should be noted that the disposition of the colors is not at all realistic. Purple is the dominant color, used for the border, the rinceau, and the figures, while red, green, and orange enliven the minor details. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 27-40 (CAS 0389-2378, -2380, -2385, -2386, -2388, -2400, -2404, -2412, -2429, -2430, -2433, -2451, -2452, -2539, -2584, -2585):] By the sixth century two basic types of textile ornaments were used to decorate garments. One, which was in use before the fourth century, was essentially monochrome. Designs in the monochrome class were both non-representational and figurative - the latter included a wide range of subject matter: plant, animal, human, and mythological. The second type is polychrome. Polychrome textiles had been made earlier, but not for use as garments. Extant examples are thought to have been decorative hangings, woven pictures as it were, that are commonly called tapestries. The use of what are essentially miniature tapestries for embellishing clothing is believed to have begun in the sixth century and to have lasted well into the Muslim period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 28, pp. 116-118, 194; color plate, cover page.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 15., Length = 9.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2386   CAS 0389-2386; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Akhmîm (Panopolis)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 400-500 CE, possibly
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Silk; Linen
Description “Tunic shoulder-band pendant medallion from Akhmîm. Cream-colored warp, light green and cream-colored weft. Symmetrical floral design composed of small block-shaped units. The back of the textile shows the design in reverse. A silk, weft-faced drawloom twill, there is one main warp between two binder warps with three main warps to a pattern unit. The warp is single-ply Z-twist; the weft yarns appear to have no twist at all. The piece is heavily damaged and has been crudely and wrongly restored by pasting small pieces of linen cloth to the back. Its original form can be conjectured by the observation of related textiles in other collections. Edges of the piece have been folded under, indicating that it was appliquéd to a garment. Fifth century in style, but perhaps later in construction. Related examples: London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 798, 799 (Kendrick 1922); Textile Museum, Washington D.C. (sic), 721.10 (Bellinger 1950-52:15). Remarks: A linen garment with silk appliqués woven in a similar style is extant, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 794 (sic) (Kendrick 1922). Drawloom textiles of the class to which [this] specimen belongs had a long life (see Grube 1962). The complexity of the weave was such that it discouraged creativity or even experimentation with modest variations, so once drafted, a pattern tended to remain unchanged for generations. Akhmîm is the modern name for the ancient city of Panopolis. It may have been a center for the production of drawloom silks. In the Early Christian period a large monastery was founded nearby, the White Monastery, which still stands and is used as a place of worship. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 27-40 (CAS 0389-2378, -2380, -2385, -2386, -2388, -2400, -2404, -2412, -2429, -2430, -2433, -2451, -2452, -2539, -2584, -2585):] By the sixth century two basic types of textile ornaments were used to decorate garments. One, which was in use before the fourth century, was essentially monochrome. Designs in the monochrome class were both non-representational and figurative - the latter included a wide range of subject matter: plant, animal, human, and mythological. The second type is polychrome. Polychrome textiles had been made earlier, but not for use as garments. Extant examples are thought to have been decorative hangings, woven pictures as it were, that are commonly called tapestries. The use of what are essentially miniature tapestries for embellishing clothing is believed to have begun in the sixth century and to have lasted well into the Muslim period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 34, pp. 116, 125, 128.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 11.0, Length = 12.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2387   CAS 0389-2387; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Antinoöpolis (Shaikh Abada aka El Sheik Abara)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 400-500 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a square tunic ornament. The brown pattern elements that decorate this fragment have a beige, originally white, ground. The motif is square, and it is bordered with small roundels, ‘pearls,’ seven on a side. A large roundel in the center contains a depiction of a running hound surrounded by leafy sprays. Most of what remains of this fragment was woven in tapestry on grouped linen warps, wool and linen weft, 6 x 24-48 [warp : weft per square cm], and rep, all linen, 16 x 14 [warp : weft per square cm]. Normal tapestry technique with weft shots curved to accentuate lines of design (sic). All yarn is S-twist. Fifth century. Remarks: The ‘pearl’ border of this piece is a common design feature of Persian silks. In Eastern art, jeweled frames imply that the subject so decorated is special in some way - magical or spiritual. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 17-26 (CAS 0389-2379, -2381, -2383, -2387, -2395, -2408A,B, -2418, -2428, -2431, -2587)] are reportedly from Shaikh Abada, or El Sheik Abara - the Arabic name for the site is transliterated variously. The ancient city was named Antinoöpolis after a beautiful Greek youth who drowned near there. It was founded in his memory by the emperor Hadrian around A.D. 13. A major weaving center in antiquity, some of its products have a classical flavor that may derive from Hadrian’s interest in early Greek art. The archaic style of Greece was revived during his reign. Later, in the Christian period, Antinoöpolis became the site of a famous monastery founded by Saint Samuel. While it is impossible to place total reliance on antique dealers’ attributions, the textiles in this group have similarities that make a common source believable. It is assumed that Rietz purchased them as a group, perhaps from a dealer in the vicinity.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 23, pp. 102, 112-113.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 11.0, Length = 10.0

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2388   CAS 0389-2388; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 500-600 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Square decorative garment insert. The ground of the square is dark blue, with a border of red hooks. The center motif of four birds seated in a fanciful symmetrical plant, is worked in pink, green, and off-white. The weave is tapestry, wool warp, linen and wool weft, 14-16 x 27 [warp : weft per square cm]. All yarn is S-twist. Sixth century. Related examples: Washington D.C. (sic), Textile Museum (Riefstahl 1941, no. 178). Remarks: Essentially, this is a tree-of-life motif in abbreviated form. The motif refers to a tree in the garden of Eden and also to the Tree, that is the cross, of the Crucifixion. (The connection between this cross and the tree of life is sometimes indicated by placing birds in the angles made by the cross arm, as can be seen in another textile in the Rietz Collection, Number 37 [CAS 0389-2380].) Different varieties of birds have particular meanings in Early Christian art. Doves, perhaps the smaller of the two [types of] birds depicted here, signify deliverance and the Holy Ghost. Peacocks, the two larger birds, are symbols of immortality. The tree-of-life motif is fairly common in Coptic textiles, usually rendered in a style related to that of Sassanian silks. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 27-40 (CAS 0389-2378, -2380, -2385, -2386, -2388, -2400, -2404, -2412, -2429, -2430, -2433, -2451, -2452, -2539, -2584, -2585):] By the sixth century two basic types of textile ornaments were used to decorate garments. One, which was in use before the fourth century, was essentially monochrome. Designs in the monochrome class were both non-representational and figurative - the latter included a wide range of subject matter: plant, animal, human, and mythological. The second type is polychrome. Polychrome textiles had been made earlier, but not for use as garments. Extant examples are thought to have been decorative hangings, woven pictures as it were, that are commonly called tapestries. The use of what are essentially miniature tapestries for embellishing clothing is believed to have begun in the sixth century and to have lasted well into the Muslim period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 36, pp. 116, 130-131; color plate, p. 72.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 6.5, Length = 6.5

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2389   CAS 0389-2389; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data Akhmîm (Panopolis)
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 800-900 CE, probably
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Tunic roundel from Akhmîm. The roundel has a wide, dark pink border decorated with an arcade, each arch containing a ‘pearl.’ In the center is a dark pink motif on a tan ground that may represent a man attacking a lion. There is one filler-motif, a small quatrefoil. Made of wool and linen weft on dyed linen warp, 7 x 50 [warp : weft per square cm], the roundel was woven in a normal tapestry technique. The dyed warps are of three different colors, dark blue, dark yellow, and light brown, regularly arranged. Since this has no visible effect so far as the tapestry roundel is concerned, it is probable that the garment ornamented by the roundel was woven in a pattern weave, for example, a three-rod twill, which would have made effective use of the three colors. All yarn is S-twist. Ninth century (?) (sic). Remarks: At present, the roundel is mounted on a linen textile, possibly ancient, but not related to it. For information about the site, see remarks for Number 34 [CAS 0389-2386]. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 58, pp. 136, 166-167.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 15.5, Length = 15.5

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2390   CAS 0389-2390; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 600-700 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a tunic clavus. What remains is a multicolored band with double jewel inlay borders framing a variety of motifs: two nude dancers, a winged child, a winged dog, and a fragmentary motif that may represent the lower part of a standing, robed figure. On a dark pink ground, figures and border are worked in medium pink, black, light green, gray, beige, and dull yellow. The fragment is tapestry, woven in wool and linen weft, linen warp, 8 x 36 [warp : weft per square cm]. All yarn is S-twist. Seventh century. Remarks: This clavus fragment is mounted on a linen cloth, perhaps ancient, but unrelated. Turned-under edges indicate that the piece was reused in antiquity. The theme of the motif could be Dionysian, the robed figure representing this god. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 41, pp. 136-137.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 8.5, Length = 18.5

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2391   CAS 0389-2391; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 900-1000 CE, probably
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Wool
Description “Tunic sleeve fragment. The dark yellow ground is decorated with bands and figures in dull purple and dark green. The design is organized as two identical bands, each with a single line of reverse arcade on the outermost edge. The filler motif, a fish nibbling the stem of a floating water plant, is repeated nine times on each band. The motifs are disposed in double rows on each band, forming two processions of fish swimming in opposite directions. The weave is tapestry with wool warp and weft, 10 x 78 [warp : weft per square cm]. All yarn is S-twist. Tenth century (?) (sic). Related example: London, Victoria and Albert Museum (Kendrick 1920, no. 18 pl. 26; Baginski and Tidhar 1980:79, no. 97). Remarks: The fish and water plant motif was a common one in ancient Egyptian art and continued in use during the Coptic period, one of the few ancient motifs to be retained by Coptic artists. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 52, pp. 136, 158-159; color plate, p. 141.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 22.0, Length = 15.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2392   CAS 0389-2392; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 700-800 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Wool
Description “Fragment of a tunic sleeve. The sleeve is decorated with brown bands and figures on a cream-colored ground. The design is composed of two bands filled with figures and separated by a narrow band with a simple cable pattern. The outer border bands are edged with a reverse scallop, each point terminating with a vine leaf. (One border band is missing, but presumably it matched the other.) In the center of the figured bands are ovals, each containing the figure of a hare. Flanking the ovals are pairs of lozenges with vine scrolls at the corner, containing, respectively, a smaller lozenge with vine leaves, a pair of fish, a single fish, and a standing bird (a guineafowl? (sic)). The sleeve is tapestry, woven on paired warps with wool warp and weft, 16 x 24 [warp : weft per square cm]. There are many short slits left open. All yarn is S-twist. Eighth century. Remarks: The figured elements suggest a heraldic or zodiacal symbolism with possible significance to the original owner or the textile. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 50, pp. 136, 154-155.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 27.0, Length = 15.5

Catalog Number CAS 0389-2393   CAS 0389-2393; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 1000-1200 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Fragment of a decorated textile. This multicolored square ornament is composed of geometric motifs. In the center is a circle framed by a square. In each corner a smaller circle is connected to the middle square by a short length of cable pattern. A band containing a braid connects the small roundels at top and bottom, a wider band with a species of twined pattern (sic) connects the roundels at the sides. The middle circle is filled with small geometric motifs, the outer circles by lozenges. The piece is tapestry weave with linen warp and wool and linen weft, 8 x 32 [warp : weft per square cm]. All yarn is S-twist. Eleventh or twelfth century. Remarks: The design bears a resemblance to designs found on some early medieval jeweled book covers. [Regarding textiles in this group, DL Carroll # 41-72 (CAS 0389-2382, -2384, -2389, -2390, -2391, -2392, -2393, -2396, -2399, -2401, -2405, -2409, -2410, -2411, -2414, -2415, -2416, -2417, -2419, -2420, -2422, -2423, -2424, -2427, -2434, -2435, -2436, -2453, -2454, -2457, -2579, -2580, -2581, -2582, -2599):] After the Arab conquest in the mid-seventh century, Coptic textile design changed its character, moving ever more distant from its classical Roman and Greek sources. In part, this was a reaction against Byzantine culture, associated in the Coptic mind with oppression. Contributing to the change may have been Islamic prohibitions against depicting human and animal figures. Such figures when they appear in Coptic textiles of the later periods become increasingly abstract to the point of being virtually unrecognizable.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 72, pp. 136, 182-183.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 13.0, Length = 12.0

Catalog Number

CAS 0389-2394   CAS 0389-2394; Coptic textile fragment
Category Textiles
Object Name Coptic textile fragment
Culture Coptic Egyptian
Global Region North Africa
Country Egypt
State/Prov./Dist.
County
Other Geographic Data unknown
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 370-435 CE
Collection Name Rietz Collection of Textiles
Materials Linen; Wool
Description “Square cut from a woman’s tunic. A formal, monochrome rinceau with filler-motifs, originally purple but now brown, decorates this piece. Three of its roundels contain symmetrical plants, three others animals. Two of the animals are hounds and one is a lion. The backgrounds of the animals are shaded; backgrounds of the plants, plain. Leaves, or possibly lotus pods, sprout from the vine stalks. The leaves of the small plants resemble vine leaves. The linen tabby ground, 16 x 16 [warp : weft per square cm], has tapestry inserts woven in wool on grouped linen warps, 9 x 48 [warp : weft per square cm]. The weaving reflects considerable skill - the threads are fine and placed with precision. All yarn is S-twist. Late fourth or early fifth century. Related example: An entire garment in Moscow, Pushkin Museum inv. #5823 (Shurinova 1967:5). Remarks: The piece could be a part of a garment resembling the tunic in the Pushkin Collection, cited above, which is ornamented with motifs nearly identical to those of [this] specimen. The Moscow tunic has been identified as a woman’s dress. From depictions in art it appears that the garments of women were more extensively decorated than those of men and were more likely to feature figured or floral motifs in their decorations. The textiles in this group [DL Carroll # 1-16 (CAS 0389-2375, -2376, -2377, -2394, -2397, -2398, -2402, -2403, -2406, -2407, -2413, -2421, -2425, -2426, -2583, -2586)] are the earliest in the collection and belong to the period dominated by Rome. A number of them represent types of garments that could have indicated social rank or would have been appropriate wear for persons with high positions in the extensive bureaucracy of the period.” [From Looms and Textiles of the Copts by Diane Lee Carroll (San Francisco, CA: Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences, No. 11, 1988); Catalog # 13, pp. 82, 99.]
Dimensions (cm) Width = 27.0, Length = 17.0
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