Tunic fragment with lion killing khilin in octagonal medallions

Tunic fragment with lion killing khilin in octagonal medallions

after 1950 (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)

Part of a set. See all set records

Silk: lampas weave

Overall: 113.7 x 86.7 cm (44 3/4 x 34 1/8 in.)

Gift of the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art 1982.23

Location

Description

The piece consists of the front and back of a tunic, now no longer joined. The designs of the front and back are the same except for the inscription at each shoulder of the front: "Glory and good fortune to the most exalted amir Abu al-ra'is[?] Kahlaf[?] bin Mansur al-Tawa'i[?], may God prolong his existen[ce]! In the year three and [tw]o hundred in the city of Baghdad."

The remainder of the front and all of the back are ornamented with aligned rows of tangent octagons, each containing an animal combat scene: a lion standing on top of and biting the lower abdomen of an upside-down khilin. Small hills are indicated under and to the right of each khilin, and at the top three angles of each octagon are floral palmettes. The outer octagon border is ornamented with an undulating leafy vine, and the inner border with a series of diamonds.

The design of the front is right side up, but the back is upside down. The two bottom edges of the tunic fit together to complete the pattern, indicating that the cloth was originally folded in two, the neck openings cut, the sides sewn to the arm openings, and the fold at the bottom slit to form the bottom edges of the front and back.

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