Textile fragment with lions

Details

  • Title

    Textile fragment with lions

  • Associated people

    probably Sultan Baibars I (ruled 1260 - 1277) (heraldry on object)
  • Associated place

    Egypt (find spot)
    Fustat (possible) (possible find spot)
    Near East (place of creation)
  • Date

    late 13th century
    Mamluk Period (1250 - 1517)
  • Material and technique

    linen band, embroidered with blue and red silk; linen backing, embroidered with blue and red silk; joined with stitching in cotton and silk

  • Material index

    linen;
    cotton
  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    26.5 x 10.5 cm (length x width)
    ground fabric, along length/width 20 / 20 threads/cm (thread count)
    backing, along length/width 20 / 20 threads/cm (thread count)
    ground fabric .05 cm (thread diameter)
    backing .03 cm (thread diameter)
    additional fibre, embroidery 0.05 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.

    EA1984.63

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  • Catalogue text

    A band of three lion blazons, blue with red outlines, is sewn onto a field of swirling rosettes and intersecting circles. The rosettes are blue, the circles have red chevrons at their intersection with each other.

    The fragment is similar to EA1984.60 and EA1984.61, although the direction of the lions is reversed. Laid threads are couched down over surface satin filling stitches. Outlines are worked in stem stitch.

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

    This lion is one of three embroidered on a wide border sewn onto the bottom of a large fragment, probably a hanging. The textile is now very worn but he still presents a jaunty appearance with his raised front paw and uplifted tail. The lion in Mamluk heraldry was associated with the blazon of the Mamluk Sultan Baybars, who ruled from 1260-77, so we can assume that the embroidery dates from the early Mamluk period. On this fragment the lion and its circular frame have been worked in the same type of couching as for No.45 [EA1984.76], and its animated appearance has been increased by adding outlines in stem stitch in red silk.

    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. 46 on. p. 67, pp. 68-70, illus. p. 67

Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, vol. ii, vol. i

Reference URL

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