Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Cope

Date:
first half 17th century (velvet)
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Silk, cotton, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet, brocaded, embroidered, with engraved metal fittings
Dimensions:
Textile: L. 44 1/2 in. (113 cm) W. 103 in. (261.6 cm) D. 1/4 in. (0.6 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1914
Accession Number:
14.67
Not on view
Armenian merchants played an important role in facilitating trade in and outside Iran, so when the Safavid ruler Shah 'Abba' (r. 1587–1629) planned to revitalize Iran's economy, he resettled a community of Armenians from the city of Julfa to his new capital, Isfahan. From there, the Armenians helped Iran's famous silk reach markets around the world. This cope probably comes from an Armenian church in Isfahan, as suggested by the presence of Armenian bishop-saints and Armenian inscriptions on the orphrey attached to its long straight edge. The cope was pieced together from robes (the seams are still visible) of a type of costly, popular seventeenth-century Persian velvet.
[ Tabbagh Frères, Paris and New York, until 1914; sold to MMA]
Peck, Amelia, ed. "The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800." In Interwoven Globe. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. no. 64, pp. 218-219, ill. pl. 64 (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. 175, pp. 251-253, ill. p. 251 (color).



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