Fragment of a Mat Fan or Fly Whisk with Quadrupeds
Made in Probably Egypt
Strips of date palm, woven
3 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (9.5 x 26 cm)
Benaki Museum, Athens (14744)
Not on view
Animals generally appear on secular works in the Islamic era. These textile fragments picture animals displayed in profile against sharply contrasting backgrounds. The stylized, geometricized forms of the animals and plants are framed by bands of linear and geometric ornament. Animals like these were often combined with inscriptions. This fragmentary weaving, crafted from strips of date palm, is probably from a fan or a fly whisk. Two lions accompanied by smaller creatures resembling dogs drink from a footed vessel.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.