Dec 8, 2009
Dec 8, 2009

Celestial banquet hanging, from the tomb of Bishop Gurb

Celestial banquet hanging, from the tomb of Bishop Gurb


Silk and gold thread: plain weave with inwoven tapestry weave

Overall: 21.2 x 58.4 cm (8 3/8 x 23 in.); Mounted: 30.2 x 67 cm (11 7/8 x 26 3/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1966.368



This rare silk fragment is from a luxurious hanging of brightly colored silk and shiny gold thread that displayed rows of figural roundels on a plain ground. The two turbaned men holding flasks flanking a palmette tree and the turbaned rider with a flying scarf are derived from the ancient Near Eastern imperial themes of the banquet and the hunt. The Arabic inscription framing each roundel proclaims, There is no god but Allah.

This piece along with several others were reportedly found in the tomb of Bishop Gurb (died 1284) in the Cathedral of Barcelona in about 1890.

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