Length of brocaded velvet, late 15th century
Silk velvet brocaded with metal–wrapped thread; 148 x 23 in. (375.9 x 58.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1912 (12.49.8)
The symmetrical pattern and the framework of pointed oval (or ogee) shapes of this velvet are a departure from the large meandering stems seen in many fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian velvets (see 46.156.120 and the back of cassone 14.39). The composition of this sumptuous "pomegranate" velvet may have been influenced by textiles from the nearby Ottoman empire; it is characteristic of Turkish textiles of the period as well. However, this piece retains typically European technical features: the two heights of silk pile and metal brocading in two textures, flat and looped—features that are not found in Turkish velvets.