Textile fragment with fish

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Two fish and remains of a third, all filled with red chevron lines and blue outlines.

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

    Fish and bird motifs were popular subjects for embroidery on clothing either in pairs or in offset rows making an all-over pattern. This fish is one of a pair slanting towards the left; above it, not shown in the illustration [in the book], are the remains of another fish slanting towards the right. Although it is a stylised version of a flat fish, it is full of interesting details with its two large round eyes, three pairs of fins and zigzag stripes across its back. Fish motifs were considered lucky and thought to signify continued prosperity. As in Nos.45 [EA1984.76] and 46 [EA1984.63], the embroidery is couched work, but the outlines in blue silk are worked in outline stitch. This is similar to stem stitch except that the thread is kept on the left side of the needle thereby producing a much straighter line.

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

Further reading

Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, p. 60 (vol. iv), vol. iv p. 60

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 47 on p. 68, pp. 69-70, illus. p. 68

Reference URL

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