Twill weave: wool; embroidery, chain stitch: silk, gilt- and silver-metal thread
Overall: 183 x 119.4 cm (72 1/16 x 47 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2014.13
This rare Ottoman embroidery features a floral bouquet that enriches the field under an elegant arch of gilt-metal thread. Flanked by vines of tulips and irises on a silver-metal-thread ground, vases of tulips and jonquils within cartouches adorn the main border and the well-turned corners, a sign of high quality. Dated 1763, the textile documents a mid-18th-century style and technique uncommon in Ottoman embroideries.
The Armenian community commissioned this pattern for a liturgical curtain. Beneath the arch, Saint John the Baptist appears with a staff of victory, holding his own severed head in one arm and the Lamb of God in the other. The embroidered Armenian inscription reads: "This curtain is in memory of the people of Hassan Pasha Khan who gave it to the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the Armenian date 10 May 1212 ."
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