Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Shawl with Coptic Inscriptions

Object Name:
Fragment
Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Made in Egypt, Fayum
Medium:
Wool, linen; plain weave, tapestry weave
Dimensions:
Textile: H. 22 3/4 in. (57.8 cm)
W. 12 1/2 in. (31.7 cm)
Mount: H. 46 1/8 in. (117.2 cm)
W. 32 in. (81.3 cm)
D. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1931
Accession Number:
31.19.13
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
This fragment (bottom) and 31.19.15 (top), two ends of a shawl, are both decorated with two inscription bands—one a line of purely ornamental (illegible) kufic, and the other a Coptic inscription interspersed with rosecolored cross-hatches.
Two Ends of a Shawl (MMA 31.19.13 and .15)

The decoration of these shawl ends consists solely of bands of inscription in Arabic and Coptic, attesting to the relationship between Coptic (as the Islamic rulers termed native Egyptian) weavers and Muslim patrons and consumers. The Arabic is given, or rather implied, in a highly ornamentalized and here unreadable type of Kufic script characterized by elements resembling pine trees.

[Stauffer 1995]
George D. Pratt, New York (until 1931; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Textiles of Late Antiquity," December 14, 1995–April 7, 1996, no. 61.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," March 14, 2012–July 8, 2012.

Stauffer, Annmarie. Textiles of Late Antiquity. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 61, listed p.48, ill. p. 42 (color).

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 125B, pp. 184-5, ill. p. 185.

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