Tabby-woven textile, linen with inlaid pattern wefts of wool and linen
Egypt or Syria; late 7th-early 8th century
H: 106.5: W: 84 cm
The simplest form of cloth is made by passing weft threads over and under warp threads. In this case, the textile is made of linen, which was commonly used in Egypt. Wool, which takes dyes well, was inlaid as extra wefts. These pattern wefts, which form the fairly simple geometrical shapes, are the characteristic feature of this textile.
There are contemporary, more complicated textiles with a similar decoration, but the most obvious parallel are the mosaic floors found in the Umayyad desert palaces, for example Khirbat al-Mafjar, near Jericho.
The textile might have made up one half of a curtain.
Inv. no. 12/1988
Simon Crosby: “Some aspects of the octagon” in Clive Rogers (ed.): Early Islamic textiles, 1983, figs. 8-9;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 387;
Mentioned in Christie's, London 30/4-1992, lot 322;
Mentioned in Hali, 63, 1992, p. 181; Kjeld von Folsach and Anne-Marie Keblow Bernsted: Woven Treasures: Textiles from the World of Islam, The David Collection, Copenhagen 1993, cat.no. 1;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 35:
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 621;
Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom (eds.): Cosmophilia. Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston 2006, cat.no. 52;
Mentioned in Hali, 171, 2012, p. 95, no. 15;