Name of Object:

Fragment of woven linen

Location:

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland (NMS)

About Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh

Date of Object:

Hegira late 5th–7th century / AD 12th–13th century

Museum Inventory Number:

A.1898.489

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Woven and embroidered linen.

Dimensions:

Height 38.10 cm, width 10.16 cm

Period / Dynasty

Fatimid

Provenance:

From a tomb at al-Drounka, Egypt.

Description:

A linen textile fragment comprising a horizontal panel of embroidered decoration with a repeat composition of two wider sections that alternate twice with two narrow sections. These are separated from each other by double borders in black wove. The wider panels have alternating blue and purple cursive inscriptions bordered by scrolling bands above and below. The narrow sections contain S-scrolls arranged vertically, beneath which is a continuous border of alternating inverted crescents and circles.

View Short Description

Many Fatimid and Mamluk textiles have been found in burials in Upper Egypt, an area famous for its linen-weaving industry manned by Coptic Christian as well as Muslim textile workers. This textile was collected by Henry Wallis (1830–1916), a famous painter and expert on Middle Eastern ceramics.

How date and origin were established:

This textile has been tentatively dated to the late 5th–7th / 12th–13th centuries on the basis of general similarities with other textiles of the Fatimid period.

How Object was obtained:

This textile together with several other Fatimid textile fragments were acquired by NMS in 1898 from Henry Wallis, a famous Pre-Raphaelite painter, who travelled and painted extensively in Egypt and elsewhere. Subsequently he became a highly respected expert on Egyptian and Persian ceramics.

How provenance was established:

This textile comes from a tomb in al-Drounka, Egypt.

Citation of this web page:

Ulrike Al-Khamis "Fragment of woven linen" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;uk;Mus03;7;en

Prepared by: Ulrike Al-KhamisUlrike Al-Khamis

Ulrike Al-Khamis is Principal Curator for the Middle East and South Asia at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. She began her academic career in Germany before completing her BA (1st class Hons) in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1987. The same year she moved to Edinburgh, where she completed her Ph.D. thesis on “Early Islamic Bronze and Brass Ewers from the 7th to the 13th Century AD” in 1994. From 1994 to 1999 she worked as Curator of Muslim Art and Culture for Glasgow Museums and, in 1997, was one of the main instigators of the first ever Scottish Festival of Muslim Culture, SALAAM. Since 1999 she has been based at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, where she has curated several exhibitions and continues to publish aspects of the collections. In addition to her museum work she has contributed regularly to the teaching of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Edinburgh.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: UK3 07

RELATED CONTENT

 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period

Fatimids


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Calligraphy Textiles

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