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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tunic Fragment with Applied Bands

Object Name:
Tunic fragment
6th–9th century
Attributed to Egypt
Wool, linen; plain weave, tapestry weave
25 1/4 in. high 12 7/16 in. wide (64.2 cm high 31.6 cm wide)
Credit Line:
Gift of George F. Baker, 1890
Accession Number:
Not on view
The red gossamer fabric of this lightweight tunic fragment is accented with stitching and undyed linen self-bands (ornamental bands of multiple, undyed weft threads). The decorative clavi in gold, brown, and blue tones were woven separately and applied to the garment. Each combines the figure of a female, possibly a saint, with panels of gold palmettes on a blue ground; a gold pendant decorated with a leaf dangles from each. Textual and visual sources attest to the existence of tunics of different weights, which could be layered, but those of light, open weave such as this example are less often preserved.
Emil Brugsch-Bey, Cairo (until 1890; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1890; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Clothing in Byzantine Egypt: Textiles from Egypt 200–900 CE," November 9, 2009–June 12, 2011.

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