Fragment, Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas


14th century
Attributed to Spain
Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas
Textile: H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
W. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of R. Meyer-Riefstahl, 1915
Accession Number:
Not on view
This square-shaped silk textile fragment contains a central floral motif surrounded by white interlacing bands on a red ground. Geometric patterns such as these are found ornamenting a wide variety of media produced in Nasrid period (1232–1492) Spain, including tile work, woodwork, book binding, and painted stucco.
Such colorful geometric designs also recall the famous repeating wall patterns in the Alhambra palace in Granada. In both the plaster and the tile work of the buildings in this palace, interlacery designs are closely related to this weaving. The metal-wrapped threads, now tarnished, originally would have created a glistening, shimmering effect- highlighting the sumptuous nature of this luxury item.
Rudolf M. Riefstahl, New York (until 1915; gifted to MMA)