Selection of Egyptian Coptic Bone Spindle Whorls


A selection of hemispherical polished bone Coptic spindle whorls, pierced through the centre. Each whorl is decorated with a series of concentric circles to the front and reverse. The bases are flattened. INDIVIDUALLY PRICED.

Date: Circa 5th - 10th Century AD
Period: Coptic Period
Provenance: Foxwell family collection acquired 1920's-40's and then by descent.
Condition: Very fine condition.
Choice of item A B C
Clear selection
SKU: SA-60 Category: Tags: ,

Spindle whorls were a useful accessory to the spindle; wool would have been twisted around the spindle then spun and left to drop pulling the fibres and creating yarn. The whorl would have been attached to the spindle helping to control the speed of the process. The weight of a whorl would determine the force applied while the diameter dictated the amount of twists performed during one spin. This technique for spinning dated from the Iron Age to the early post-medieval periods. In Roman society, women were tasked with clothing production; this has been testified by frescoes recovered from Pompeii, where women are shown hanging clothes to dry in a dye-shop.  In particular, an epigraphic inscription, dedicated to the Statlii family, mentions the quasillariae which was a group of all female spinners.

Weight N/A
Dimensions cm
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Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum, Item 40.170.332

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