Fragment, Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile

Fragment

Date:
4th–5th century
Geography:
Said to be from Egypt, Antinopolis
Medium:
Wool (warp, weft and pile); symmetrically knotted pile
Dimensions:
Rug: L. 40 3/16 in. (102 cm)
W. 46 1 1/6 in. (117 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Rugs
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1931
Accession Number:
31.2.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
This rug fragment is a rare example of an early textile that most certainly functioned as a floor covering. Its brilliant colors, interlocking designs, and shaded geometric forms create an illusionistic effect. The overall design of the fragment is directly linked to decorative floor patterns on Christian mosaic pavements found throughout southern and eastern Mediterranean lands. The cut-loop technique seen here had been used for centuries in Egypt.
The colors, geometric patterns, and illusionistic play of this fragment are derived from the mosaic floors of Late Antiquity.With its thick cut-loop pile, in its entirety it surely functioned as an actual floor covering.

[Stauffer 1995]
[ Maurice Nahman, Cairo, until 1931; sold to Herbert Winlock for MMA]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Textiles of Late Antiquity," December 14, 1995–April 7, 1996, no. 54.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 12, ill. fig. 5 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. p. 12, ill. fig. 5 (b/w).

Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 54, pp. 10, 14, 24, 48, ill. p. 24 (color), pp. 10, 14 (b/w).

Denny, Walter B. How to Read Islamic Carpets. New Haven and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. p. 56, ill. fig. 42 (color).