Textile fragment with hands and diamond-shaped medallion

Details

  • Catalogue text

    One diamond-shaped medallion containing rows of V-shapes and edged with hands.

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

    The design of this motif is very intriguing but its significance remains a mystery. Its rigid hexagon shape is similar to the previous example, No.18 [EA1993.76], but instead of stepped outlines, there are little decorative hooks that can be read as hands or even little faces. As on No.18, the central pattern of V shapes is left in reserve and the background filled with blue silk in pattern darning in running stitch. The faint vertical white lines are where the worker has darned under one thread to avoid leaving long floating stitch across the ground. Judging by the fine scale of the work and its size, which is larger than the ones worked as repeating patterns, it could have been one of those arranged on either side of the neck slit of a tunic.

    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. 51 (vol. iv), vol. iv p. 51

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 19 on p. 34, illus. p. 34

Reference URL

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