Feb 21, 2007

Brocaded Silk Cushion Cover & Iranian Striped Silk Surround

Brocaded Silk Cushion Cover & Iranian Striped Silk Surround

early 1600s

Part of a set. See all set records

Silk, gilt-metal thread; lampas weave

Overall: 141 x 68.4 cm (55 1/2 x 26 15/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 2007.13



Cushion covers, associated with comfort, were made especially to cover cushions placed on divans, the equivalent of sofas. Most were woven in brocaded velvet because the projecting pile could withstand abrasion more effectively than this rare brocaded silk example.

Cushion covers typically display a row of six lappets (flaps or folds) across each end of a field decorated with either a repeating motif or a medallion pattern as shown here. Opulent gilt-metal thread forms the elegant minimalist pattern on a lustrous crimson silk ground. All the designs-the medallion and corner medallions, central rosette, and corner tulips, plus the lappets bearing rosettes-are outlined in silhouette.

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