Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Textile fragment: walking ram with a neckband and fluttering ribbons

ca. 7th century A.D.
Wool, linen
21.8 x 10.5 cm
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1977
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 405
Textiles made in Egypt, the Near East, and western Central Asia in the Sasanian era were commonly decorated with a single animal, or a confronted pair. A particularly angular, geometric stylization of the animals characterized some of the pieces woven in Sogd, in western Central Asia. The precious quality of luxurious silks led to the transfer of textile patterns to other media—silver vessels, stone carvings, and ceramics—many of which were made centuries after the collapse of Sasanian Iran and the widespread Arab conquests in the Near East. The beribboned ram depicted on this textile fragment is of Sasanian inspiration. The gait of the animal and certain stylistic details such as the frontally represented spread horns and the neckband and fluttering ribbons are characteristic features of this motif as it occurs on Sasanian seals and stucco.
private collection (until 1977)

“The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire,” Asia House Gallery, New York, The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.

“Islamic Textiles: A Sampler from Muslim Lands,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 1–April 29, 1990.

Bier, Carol M. 1978. In The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire, exh. cat. edited by Prudence O. Harper. New York: Asia House Gallery, no. 64, p. 140.

Harper, Prudence O. 1996. “Textiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 53 (Winter, 1995-1996), p. 20-21.
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