Tapestry fragment

Egyptian (Coptic)
Early Byzantine
5th-6th century A.D.


16 x 27 cm (6 5/16 x 10 5/8 in.); Legacy dimension: .27 x .16

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Textiles and Fashion Arts



The design of this textile fragment shows a female bust of a well-dressed woman surrounded by V-shaped acanthus foliage framing a candelabra floral motif. Flowers framed by linear circular branches flank the acanthus branches. A neutral orange halo surrounds the female’s head, and a green dot decorates her chin. Her large eyes are composed by dark pupils, and yellow-blue irises. She has brown corkscrew curls, an Egyptian fashion of the period, and wears a jeweled headpiece. In addition, she wears spiral gold earrings and her tunic is decorated with a jeweled collar. The female figure may represent a personification or an allegorical figure, or even evoke ideas such as good fortune, prosperity and privilege. The fragment belongs to several others and must have at one time decorated clothing or part of home decorations such as cushions.

Warp of cream-colored wool; weft of wool.

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund