Textile fragment with leaf scrolls, palmettes, and trianglesOn display
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Textile fragment with leaf scrolls, palmettes, and triangles
Material and technique
linen, embroidered with dark-blue and pink silk; with hems in pink silk
Dimensions28 x 9 cm (length x width)
along length/width 18 / 18 threads/cm (thread count)
ground fabric 0.05 cm (thread diameter)
additional fibre, embroidery 0.05 cm (thread diameter)
No. of items
Presented by Professor Percy Newberry, 1941.
Museum locationLower ground floor | Gallery 5 | Textiles
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A wide band with a double zigzag line and a geometric crown (palmette?). Paired triangles are set into the space in between. All patterns have an outline of small hooks. The band has border bands with a stylized vine and tendrils.
Pink edging on both sides of the band in spaced cross stitches give it two hems.
The radiocarbon date for the textile is 1429 AD +/- 36.
In: Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
The embroidery on this fragment is a wonderful example of intricate pattern darning in running stitch. It is on a fine scale; in places the silk thread passes over and under just one thread of the linen ground fabric at a time. As can be seen, the design is composed of three elements, each worked separately: that is, the two outside borders with stylised leaf scrolls and the central reciprocal pattern of palmettes. Each triangle is an entity on its own and the darning is worked along the direction of the band instead of across it like the rest of the embroidery. There is part of a garment with a comparable design in the collection (Acc.No. [EA]1993.63). The edges of this piece have been turned under and hemmed, and then decorated with spaced cross stitches in crimson silk. This suggests it has been cut off from a worn-out garment to make a girdle, which is also indicated by the way that the embroidery is continuous along the length of the fragment.
In: Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001)
Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 16 on p. 29, illus. p. 29
Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, vol. ii, vol. i