Fragmentary Loom Width with Ogival Pattern

Object Name: Fragment

Date: ca. 1570–80

Geography: Attributed to Turkey, probably Istanbul

Medium: Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas (kemha)

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Anonymous Gift, 1949

Accession Number: 49.32.79a–y


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.