Silk; complementary weft-faced twill weave with inner warps (samite)
Overall: 15.5 x 14 cm (6 1/8 x 5 1/2 in.); Mounted: 21.6 x 14 cm (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1953.332
Coptic Textile Rotation Gallery 106
Four or six squares of this luxurious two-color silk were originally sewn on a linen tunic, two positioned above the hemline in the front and two in the back, and possibly two more at the shoulder. The folded edges are still visible, including a silk sewing thread on the right side. The brittle condition is evident in the numerous crisp breaks.
Voluptuous females in sheer attire were not only depicted in contemporary wall paintings but also woven in lengths of silk fabric that were cut into squares to decorate linen tunics. These symmetrical female dancers, with anklets and long scarves draped around their shoulders, hold branches and pomegranates.
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