Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Textile Fragment with Ogival Pattern

Object Name:
14th century
Egypt or Syria
Silk; lampas
Textile: H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm) W. 14 in. (35.6 cm) Mount: H. 26 3/8 in. (67 cm) W. 20 in. (50.8 cm) D. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1946
Accession Number:
Not on view
Influenced by Chinese and Mongol prototypes, this fragment shows a repeating pattern of an ogival vine scroll that undulates around Chinese-style lotus blossoms enclosing a naskh inscription. The inscription reads "The Sultan, the King," in mirror image, a reference to an unnamed Mamluk sultan. The combination of these elements—the Eastern origin of the design, an inscription invoking the ruling elite, and the sumptuousness of the fabric— were the most common characteristics of luxury textiles of the period, and the visual manifestation of the long-lasting trade relations between China and the eastern Mediterranean.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in naskhi script, repeated within medallions, in mirror image:
السلطان الملك
The sultan, the king

Marking: See link panel.
[ Giorgio Sangiorgi, Rome, until 1946; to Loewi]; [ Adolph Loewi, Los Angeles, 1946; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part II: Vegetal Patterns," September 10, 1998–January 10, 1999.

Mackie, Louise W. "Toward an Understanding of Mamluk Silks: National and International Considerations." Muqarnas vol. 2 (1984). p. 136, ill. pl. 15 (b/w).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 115, pp. 166-167, ill. p. 167 (color).

Related Objects


Date: 13th century Medium: Silk; warp faced plain weave Accession: 47.15 On view in:Gallery 454

Pyxis (Cylindrical Container)

Date: late 11th–early 12th century Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on incised, opaque white glaze Accession: 1998.298a, b On view in:Gallery 451

"The Elephant Clock", Folio from a Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by al-Jazari

Date: dated A.H. 715/A.D. 1315 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 57.51.23 On view in:Gallery 454

Textile Fragment

Date: 14th century Medium: Silk; lampas Accession: 29.22 On view in:Not on view

Textile Fragment

Date: second half 13th–14th century Medium: Silk, silvered (?) animal substrate wound around a cotton core; lampas Accession: 1996.286 On view in:Gallery 455