Fragment of a Tunic

Fragment of a Tunic

400s - 600s

Tabby ground, inwoven tapestry ornament; wool

Overall: 39.7 x 93 cm (15 5/8 x 36 5/8 in.)

Gift of George D. Pratt 1926.143

Description

Tunics with decoration on the front and back were worn by both men and women. These long bands, called clavi, feature pairs of stylized haloed male figures, possibly dancing, wearing short skirts and scarves across their chests. They alternate with pairs of foxes (?) and fish. The ancient repair in the center of this woolen winter tunic reveals that decorated cloth was expensive, and thus often mended and reused. The dating and interpretation of images, adapted primarily from the classical repertory, are often challenging today.

See also
Collection: 
T - Coptic
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Textile

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