A Large Intricately Decorated Coptic Sleeve Fragment

$537.14

This exceptional piece of finely embroidered coarse and brown wool tapestry features an intricate decoration with male dancers and zoomorphic creatures. The level of detail and complexity is extremely fine and well preserved.

Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD
Provenance: Property of a London gentleman; part of a Mayfair collection formed in the 1970s and 1980s
Condition: Fine with signs of aging on the surface. The level of detail and complexity is extremely fine and well preserved.

SOLD

The dancers can be associated with the cult of Dionysus, which was extremely popular in Hellenistic Egypt.

During the Early Coptic period (3rd – 4th centuries AD), the primary decorative themes were taken from nature and Classical mythology and were certainly also influenced by Roman iconology. By the Middle Coptic period (5th – 7th centuries AD), depictions included abstract natural elements and Christian symbolism.

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. This beautiful Coptic textile managed to survive thanks to the dry and hot desert climate. This fragment was likely part of a tunic, the most common Coptic garment.

Weight 32.7 g
Dimensions L 42 x W 13.5 cm
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