Textile fragment with band of cartouches, spirals, and stars

Details

  • Catalogue text

    A band of cartouches, four-armed spirals and stars, outlines in dark blue embroidery. The background is filled with very small stylized plants embroidered in dark blue double running stitch. One cartouche and the stars have further geometric patterning in light blue pattern darning stitch, while two cartouches have remains of needle-woven bars stitched in yellow embroidery, as part of drawn-thread work.

    The width of the band is 1.8 cm.

    In: Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

    The four repeating patterns illustrated here [EA1984.443, EA1984.329.a, EA1984.426, EA1984.435] provide us with a glimpse of some of the designs and stitches worked as narrow bands of decoration. The usual format for arranging bands of embroidery on square and rectangular cloths, as seen on the Newberry pieces, leaves the centre ground fabric plain and places three parallel bands along two opposite sides and one across each of the other two. However, two samplers in the collection show how patterns should be adjusted to turn corners, so it is clear that some embroideries did have continuous borders.

    The embroidery worked on the bands was sometimes very fine indeed; an example in the collection is even finer than that seen on No.60 [EA1984.329.a], where an interlace pattern has been carried out in stem stitch over a count of four threads on a cloth with a thread count of 36 to one centimetre. The patterns, colours and stitches illustrated here demonstrate the refined nature of this embroidery from the later period of Mamluk rule in Egypt.

    In: Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001)

Further reading

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 62 on p. 88, illus. p. 89

Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, vol. iii, vol. i

Reference URL

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