Decorative Clavus with Animal Decorations


A finely detailed red woollen decorated clavus on coarse linen sided by a false braid, also known as a soumak weave. This example displays a zoomorphic and floral decoration, ending with a tear shaped drop decoration. The false braid on the side is completely intact and ends in two loose cords.

Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD
Provenance: Property of a London gentleman; part of a Mayfair collection formed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Condition: Extremely fine, all details are perfectly visible and the fabric is in perfect condition.

In stock

SKU: VB-04 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, such as the one displayed on this beautiful piece.

Weight 19.3 g
Dimensions W 23 x H 6.5 cm




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