Tiraz Veil

Object Name: Tiraz fragment

Date: A.H. 373/A.D. 983–84

Geography: Attributed to Egypt, Tinnis

Medium: Silk; plain weave, tapestry weave

Dimensions: Textile: L. 23 3/8 in. (59.4 cm)
W. 55 3/4 in. (141.6 cm)
Mount: L. 31 1/2 in. (80 cm)
W. 64 3/8 in. (163.5 cm)
D. 2 in. (5.1 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1971

Accession Number: 1971.151


Two opposed, embroidered bands of Arabic inscription in kufic script are the centerpiece of this silk veil. The inscription retains the style of those on tiraz woven in Abbasid workshops, taken over by the Fatimids when they established themselves in Egypt in A.D. 969. It begins with an excerpt from the Shahada (Muslim testimony of faith), and includes the name of the Fatimid caliph for whom the tiraz was made, al‑‛Aziz (ruled A.D. 975–96), and that it was woven in the state workshop in Tinnis on the Nile Delta in the year A.H. 373/A.D. 983–84. Foliated letters ending in half‑palmettes and a narrow band featuring pairs of confronted birds and floral designs enliven the composition.