Coptic Decorative Clavus with Plant Decorations


An Egyptian Coptic,  black wool clavus decorated with a floral pattern featuring a flower designed in its droplet shaped end. This piece displays a false braid, also known as a ‘soumak’ weave, on the side with a peculiar fringed roped wool at its end.

Date: Circa 7th-10th century AD
Provenance: Property of a Mayfair, London, UK, ancient art collector; acquired in the 1970s-1980s.
Condition: Very fine.

In stock

SKU: VB-09 Category: Tags: , ,

Clavi were the longitudinal bands on tunics, usually sewn from each shoulder to the waist or hem. On Coptic tunics they were richly decorated and often multi-coloured. Men’s decorations were typically monochrome, while the women’s were often polychrome.

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.

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

Weight 23 g
Dimensions W 31 x H 7 cm




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