Silk, gold thread; polychrome velvet: cut pile, brocaded, and voided
Overall: 108.6 x 55.9 cm (42 3/4 x 22 in.); Mounted: 115.6 x 59.7 cm (45 1/2 x 23 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1929.82
Although plain velvets were woven in Italy by the end of the 13th century, polychrome-patterned velvets were not produced until the late 14th century. This velvet with two colors of pile incorporates a limited amount of costly gold thread while a fourth color, ivory, is formed by the satin weave of the foundation, called voided velvet. Palmette leaves composed of gold thread and crimson pile dominate the pattern on the green pile ground. The palmettes are arranged in an overlapping curved layout, popular in Italy and in Ottoman Turkey during the second half of the 15th century.
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