Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragmentary Loom Width with Ogival Pattern

Object Name:
ca. 1570–80
Turkey, probably Istanbul
Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas (kemha)
Textile: L. 75 in. (190.5 cm) W. 26 in. (66 cm) Mount: L. 56 3/8 in. (143.2 cm) W. 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm) D. 1 in. (2.5 cm) Wt. 36 lbs. (16.3 kg)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1949
Accession Number:
Not on view
With its unusual eggplant‑purple background, gold medallions, and crisp, stencil‑like drawing, this textile is an exceptionally fine example of the luxurious Ottoman silk fabrics referred to as kemha. Employing bold patterns, such as this ogival lattice design, these textiles were highly valued throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. Many datable fragments survive in the form of religious vestments of various Christian communities from Sweden to Moscow. Considering its overall shape, this fragment probably once served as part of a chasuble—a garment worn by Christian clergy.
Private collection(by 1935–49; gifted to MMA)
Atil, Esin. The Age of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Washington, DC: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987. no. 144, p. 210, ill. pl. 144 (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 117, pp. 278-279, ill. p. 279 (b/w).

Denny, Walter B., Dr. Aileen Ribeiro, Judy Levin, and Jean L. Druesedow. Court and Conquest: Ottoman Origins and the Design for Handel's Tamerlano at the Glimmerglass Opera. Ohio: Kent State University Museum, 1998–1999. pp. 36-37, ill. fig. 34 (color).

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. 229C, pp. 322-323, ill. p. 323 (color).

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