Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Roundel with Central Asian-style "Candelabra Tree"

Object Name:
7th–9th century
Attributed to Egypt or Syria
Silk; samite
Textile: H. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm) W.7 5/16 in. (18.5 cm) Mount: H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm) W. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm) D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
This beige and green silk textile fragment displays a roundel with a border of scrolling vines and leaves, at the center of which a stylized tree of life appears, bearing flowers, leaves, and fruit. The composite tree, as well as the fragmentary abstract floral designs around it, can be understood as an Islamic interpretation of the composite tree motifs popular in pre-Islamic Sasanian art. This fragment may have originally been part of a tunic or other garment, and is stylistically related to similar textiles found in Egypt.
[ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, until 1917; sold to MMA]
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 258, ill. fig. 168 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 14, pp. 54-55, ill. p. 55 (b/w).

Ali, Wijdan. The Arab Contribution to Islamic Art : From the Seventh to the Fifteenth Centuries. Jordan: The Royal Society of Fine Arts, Jordan, 1999. p. 67, ill. fig. 35 (b/w).

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 148, ill. fig. 67 (color).

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