Vine Lattice with Birds

Object Name: Fragment

Date: 6th–9th century

Geography: Attributed to Egypt, possibly Akhmim (former Panopolis)

Medium: Silk; samit

Dimensions: Textile: L. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm)
W. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm)
Mat: L. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
W. 12 1/16 in. (30.6 cm)
D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, 1915

Accession Number: 15.109


This two-toned silk fragment features circular and lobed medallions composed of pairs of birds. These medallions are framed within an overall lattice pattern composed of abstracted vines, scrolls, and leaves. Numerous examples of silks such as this have been found in the cemetery at Panopolis (Akhmim) in Egypt. Large sheets of the textile were cut and applied to unadorned tunics, allowing local elites to ornament their clothing with eye-catching patterns and colors.