Textile fragment with cruciform palmette

Details

  • Title

    Textile fragment with cruciform palmette

  • Associated place

    Egypt (find spot)
    Fustat (possible) (possible find spot)
    Near East (place of creation)
    Anatolia (possible) (possible place of creation)
    Iran (possible) (possible place of creation)
    Iraq (possible) (possible place of creation)

  • Date

    late 15th century
  • Material and technique

    linen, embroidered with coloured silk

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    ground fabric 10.5 x 10.5 cm (height x width)
    ground fabric 21 / 23 threads/cm (thread count)
    ground fabric 0.04 cm (thread diameter)
    additional fibre, embroidery 0.06 cm (thread diameter)
  • No. of items

    1

  • Credit line

    Presented by Professor Percy Newberry, 1941.

  • Museum location

    not on display

  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.

    EA1993.101

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  • Catalogue text

    A cusped quatrefoil contains a central roundel and four buds on its petals. It has four trefoils around its edge.

    In: Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

    The design of this embroidery suggests that it comes from the late 15th century Turcoman empire rather than Mamluk Egypt and Syria; at this period two Turcoman confederations controlled Eastern Anatolia, Northern Iraq and Western Iran. Its cruciform palmette and stylised lotus flowers show a Chinese influence characteristic of the 15th century. Its bright appearance is very different from other contemporary embroideries in the Newberry collection which generally have a very limited number of colours: here no less than six have been selected and arranged in small amounts, to give a jeweI-Iike appearance to the composition. Such use of colour is also found on 15th century Turcoman manuscripts.

    The method of couching is similar to that seen on earlier 13th century embroidery from Egypt (Nos.45-48 [EA1984.76, EA1984.63, EA1993.99, EA1984.105]), but here the overcasting stitches are set very closely together to form defined ridged lines. The technique secured the underlying surface satin stitches so firmly that all the silk threads have remained intact. Looking at an embroidery from Safavid Iran in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (No.1206-1905), it is interesting to see that the same method of couching forming ridged parallel lines was still in use some two hundred years later.

    In: Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001)

Further reading

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 49 on p. 70, illus. p. 71

Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, p. 62 (vol. iv), vol. iv p. 62

Reference URL

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