Textile with Flora

Textile with Flora

c. 1500s

Silk, linen, silver thread

Overall: 90.8 x 59.4 cm (35 3/4 x 23 3/8 in.); Mounted: 97.8 x 66.7 cm (38 1/2 x 26 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1954.321



This luxurious furnishing fabric might have been a wall covering or part of a long robe. The pattern of floral bouquets framed by curved leaves was popular in Italy, Spain, and Turkey during the 16th century. Darkened by oxidation, the fine silver weft, or horizontal, threads would have once shone brightly and glittered in the flickering candlelight that illuminated rooms before electricity. The preserved selvage edges reveal the width of the original loom; the edge’s color and style may even indicate the quality of the silk thread and the identity of the guild that wove it.

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