Fragment with wrestling lions and harpies

Spanish (probably Almería)
Early 12th century

Object Place: possibly Almería, Spain


50 x 43 cm (19 11/16 x 16 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk lampas with supplementary discontinuous metal-wrapped patterning wefts

Not On View


Europe, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Fragment of shroud believed to have been part of the shroud of a bishop of Burgo de Osma. Design of pairs of lions attacking human-headed birds within circles connected by smaller circles containing inscriptions, woven with red, green, and light brown silk (weft) and gold thread (brocaded). The inscription has been translated by R. Guest as follows “This was made in the town of Baghdad, may God guard it.”


Said to come from the tomb of bishop San Pedro de Osma (d. 1109) in the Cathedral of Burgo de Osma, Spain [see note 1]. 1933, Herman A. Elsberg (b. 1869 - d. 1938), New York; 1933, sold by Elsberg to the MFA for $14,500 [see note 2]. (Accession date: March 7, 1933)

[1] See Adele Coulin Weibel, Two Thousand Years of Textiles (New York: Pantheon, 1952), p. 96, cat. no. 66.

[2] Purchased with MFA 33.372 for $14,500.

Credit Line

Ellen Page Hall Fund