Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Textile Medallion

Object Name:
6th century
Attributed to Iraq or Syria
Silk; twill
Mount: H. 12 3/8 in. (31.4 cm)
W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
Not on view
Textiles like this one were produced in the pre-Islamic Sasanian empire, which ruled Persia from A.D. 224 to 651. The designs of Sasanian weavers continued to inspire textiles during the early centuries of the Islamic period. This textile fragment displays a design executed in orange and ivory silk against a blue silk ground; stylized plant motifs fill the four corners, and the central roundel is filled with a large plump bird depicted in profile. The bird wears a pearl-studded crescent on its breast and holds a jeweled necklace in its beak—an emblem of Sasanian royalty.
Emil Brugsch-Bey, Cairo (until 1890; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1890; gifted to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 212.

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