DEPARTMENTS WITH COLLECTIONS . . TEXTILE AND COSTUME DEPARTMENT . . 1 / 10

Fabric

Egypt, Copts, 5th or 6th century

Warp – linen; weft – wool and linen; weaving – tapestry and plain

13.5 x 13.5 cm

MAA Inv. No. 5437

Coptic fabrics started to reach Europe during the 17th century, but more frequently after Napoleon's campaign in Egypt in 1798. Museum's collection of Coptic fabrics consists of 26 objects. They originated between the 4th and 11th centuries.

Many of the items that have been preserved were part of everyday wear like this fragment of cloth, which was probably used as a shoulder decoration. Although slightly damaged, it nonetheless gives a true rendition of the original. In the middle there are four circular medallions depicting a race between a dog and a rabbit. They are positioned in pairs, each pair facing the other. Between the medallions there are leafy branches, with a stylized floral motif in very centre of the cloth. The main composition is framed by a series of half-circles, with dots in the middle.