Coptic Textile Fragment with Human Figures and Lions

£ 350.00

An Egyptian Coptic textile fragment woven in burgundy wool onto coarse, unbleached linen. The long strip of material features a central frieze consisting of alternating human figures with one arm raised, possibly indicating a huntsmen or warriors on a hunt, and prancing lions in two rows. This central frieze is then bordered by a single band of a tongue and dot motif below and a double band to the top. Ascertaining from the placement of bands and the length of the fragment, most likely this was a segment belonging to a sleeve from a tunic.

Date: Circa 4th-7th Century AD
Period: Coptic Period
Condition: Very fine. This ancient fragment has been mounted on new fabric and onto cardboard to preservation. The dimensions given are with the cardboard.
Product Code: ES-158
Category: Tags: , , , ,

Coptic textiles, whose production began in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD in Egypt, were hand woven with unbleached linen warps and dyed wool wefts. The majority that have survived, were used to decorate tunics; a clothing staple of the time. Influenced by a fusion of cultures and history, Coptic textiles evolved with history.  During the Early Coptic period (3rd – 4th centuries AD), the primary decorative themes were taken from nature and Classical mythology, with Hellenistic tradition still popular. By the Middle Coptic period (5th – 7th centuries AD), depictions included abstract natural elements and Christian symbolism. The third period of textiles refers to the period of Islamic dominance, when the Copts were still able to survive despite their oppression.

Earlier textiles such as this were monochromatic and it was only after the 6th century AD that other colours were used. An influence from Byzantium introduced varying hues and shades, including green, vivid blue, orange and purple.

Weight 31.1 g
Dimensions L 30 x W 13.5 cm

Linen, Wool


North Africa

Reference: For Similar: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, item 1926.153

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