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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Fragment Of Garment With Medallion And Band, 4th–5th century

type: Fragment of garment with medallion and band

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Fragment of plain woven linen with in-woven tapestry band and medallion. All very finely and evenly woven. Embroidery along top and a series of multiple picks carried at a time to form ridges near top of fabric. Band: dark brown serpentine set against brown background hatched with natural. In curves, pairs of brown leaves, centers defined by soumak. At one-third length of band a panel containing an undyed bud against a brown ground. Medallion contains two figures, the one at left in short spotted garment - Roman military dress, embroidered at one side of his garment. The one at right holds an owl (Athens). Figures in brown, defined by soumak against same kind of hatched ground. The eyes of these figures are very large and striking because of area of undyed tabby used for the whites. Plain brown outer border defined at edge by soumak. The hatching of the ground in this textile is done in the proper Greek way, by alternate shots of dark and light thread.


John Pierpont Morgan