1000s-1100s (radiocarbon date, 95% probability)
Silk: double cloth
Overall: 28 x 25.4 cm (11 x 10 in.)
Gift of Ayyub Rabenou 1968.246
The princely sport of falconry was frequently represented in medieval luxury silks. Here, the falconer wears a jeweled turban, the most significant item of men’s dress, and rides sidesaddle on a bull. On his gloved hand he probably supports a coveted gyrfalcon, a large, superior bird. The border displays an inner inscription and an outer animal procession, an ancient Near Eastern theme, of real and mythical creatures. This double cloth has two distinct layers that exchange position according to the pattern. The crisply broken edges and scattered brittle threads are typical of the fragility of authentic medieval Iranian silks.
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