Length of velvet

Date: 16th century

Culture: Spanish or Italian

Medium: Pile on pile cut, voided, and brocaded velvet of silk and gold metallic thread with bouclé details

Dimensions: L. 87 x W. 22 1/2 inches (221.0 x 57.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Velvets

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1946

Accession Number: 46.156.120


The symmetrical pattern and the framework of pointed oval (or ogee) shapes of this velvet are a departure from the large meandering stems seen in many fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian velvets (see 46.156.120 and the back of cassone 14.39). The composition of this sumptuous "pomegranate" velvet may have been influenced by textiles from the nearby Ottoman empire; it is characteristic of Turkish textiles of the period as well. However, this piece retains typically European technical features: the two heights of silk pile and metal brocading in two textures, flat and looped—features that are not found in Turkish velvets.