Coptic Panel with Birds and Animals


An outstanding Coptic squared panel fragment of a large size, featuring two parallel rectangular panels in brown wool and coarse linen. Each panel displays a beautiful zoomorphic and floral decoration, comprising two medallions with four tendrils each. The medallions are decorated with fine depictions of birds and dogs, while the space in between the medallions is filled with dancing figures shown while holding a ceremonial vessel, and leaping animals. The frame is finely creneled, with phytomorphic decorations. This panel was very likely part of a tunic, the most common garment in Coptic culture.

Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD
Provenance: Property of a Mayfair, London, UK, ancient art collector; acquired in the 1970s-1980s.
Condition: Very fine. This ancient fragment has been mounted on new fabric and onto cardboard to preservation. The dimensions given are with the cardboard.

In stock

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 69 g
Dimensions L 22 x W 22 cm




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