This polychrome velvet displays the heraldic design of the Medici family of Florence, where it was probably made. The device of crimson balls on a yellow ground appears in the centers of the colorful rosettes. Gilt-metal thread forms the heraldic ground in more lavish examples. The striped selvage helps identify the late 15th-century dating. The rosette pattern created with four colors of pile warp is silhouetted on the ivory satin weave foundation, known as voided velvet. Its color scheme and tile-like design have often been associated with influence from Islamic lands, most likely Turkey.
Four-color Velvet with Medici Armorial in Rosettes
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