Square Ornament from a Tunic

700s
Overall: 23.5 x 24.2 cm (9 1/4 x 9 1/2 in.); Mounted: 31.1 x 31.8 cm (12 1/4 x 12 1/2 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Seen as a prized decoration, designs like this were often cut out of older textiles and stitched onto unisex linen tunics.

Description

The folded edges on all four sides of this luxury silk fragment indicate that it decorated a unisex linen tunic. The symmetrical deer with suckling fawn flanking a simplified central tree of life continues an ancient theme in a naturalistic style. The roundel is connected on all four sides and displays heart-shaped floral borders. This fragment is said to have been found in Akhmim, Egypt, south of Cairo, where, during the 1880s, numerous related silk fragments were excavated.
Square Ornament from a Tunic

Square Ornament from a Tunic

700s

Egypt or Syria, Umayyad period (661–750) or Abbasid period (750–1258)

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