Boy's cap with triangles and clusters

Caps from the Mamluk period (1260-1517) survive in considerable numbers, and the Newberry Collection at the Ashmolean Museum includes six, richly embroidered examples. This cap is the most vibrant of the group, and is constructed with colorful patchwork of silk strips outlined by minute clusters of eyelets embroidered in buttonhole stich.

Details

  • Catalogue text

    A silk cap with patchwork designs of black, yellow, green and red triangles against a red ground. The triangles concentrate on the peak of the cap, which also has a silk tassel. Embroidery designs are made from button stitch arranged in circles and triangles.

    The cap has a linen lining. The edge is carefully sewn with whipped silk stitching.

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

    This little cap is an exceptionally pretty and colourful item with its long crimson and yellow heavy silk tassel, silk patchwork and fine stitching. It was constructed by securing silk fabric shapes onto a linen backing (applied patchwork) with two rows of minute black stitches. Diagonal lines of running stitch were used to stitch the layers of fabric together. Tiny eyelets embroidered in buttonhole stitch in contrasting colours form little clusters, triangles and hooked motifs.

    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, vol. ii, vol. i p. 15 n. 2

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 65 on p. 93, p. 10, illus. p. 93

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