Cotton, plain weave with painted inscription
9 x 14 in. (22.9 x 35.6 cm)
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1931 (31.106.32)
Cotton textiles from the eastern Islamic world were often inexpensively decorated with simple painted brushstrokes. The painted surface decoration of these textiles imitates the more luxurious type with embroidered silk inscriptions and also employs the same Abbasid epigraphic style.
The inscription on this fragment is legible. "Perfect blessing" is the basic unit which is embellished with superfluous undersweeps that echo the naturally curved script as it is repeated. The final letter of the word "blessing" (baraka) is extended to punctuate another series of repetitions created in the zone above the main inscription. It is possible that this visually pleasing pattern filled the length of the textile.