Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Neck Band from a Tunic

Object Name:
Fragment
Date:
5th–8th century
Geography:
Attributed to Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Wool, linen; tapestry weave
Dimensions:
12 5/16 in. high 3 3/8 in. wide (31.2 cm high 8.5 cm wide)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
90.5.585
Not on view
Two diademed erotes, each carrying a bowl of flowers or fruit, fly toward the center of this playfully decorated neckline. They are flanked by a menagerie of fish, hares (?), and lions amid abstract trees. The dark blue border above is studded with circles, calling to mind a jeweled necklace. The stylized tree marking the center of the neckline appears to dangle from the blue border like a gem-encrusted pendant. Red festoons accented with yellow, red, and green blossoms create the lower border. The flora, fauna, and jewels of the neckline are associated with abundance and prosperity and are frequently found on early Byzantine textiles.
Emil Brugsch-Bey, Cairo (until 1890; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1890; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Clothing in Byzantine Eygypt," November 9, 2009–June 12, 2011.

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