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Sleeve Fragment with a Band with Fish and Blossoms

Object Name:
7th–10th century
Tapestry weave in polychrome wool and undyed linen on plain-weave ground of undyed linen; applied weft-pattern band in wool and undyed linen
Overall: H. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm) W. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm) Mount: H. 11 7/8 in. (30.2 cm) W. 15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm) D. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
Not on view
This sleeve fragment illustrates many of the characteristics associated with early Islamic textiles found in Egypt. Symmetrically arranged between two plain, dark bands, delicately colored fish, leaves, and buds form a lozenge pattern around a central rosette set within a gemmed roundel and a repeating pattern of stylized trees. The structured sprinkling of flora (generally buds and leaves) and fauna is referred to as a "scattered" motif. Like the weft-patterned, applied border, here with chevrons, the scattered motif became popular toward the end of the sixth and seventh centuries.
Emil Brugsch-Bey, Cairo (until 1890; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1890; gifted to MMA)
Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 58, p. 48.

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