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Tunic Clavus

7th century - 10th century
84.5 cm x 6.6 cm (33 1/4 in. x 2 5/8 in.)
wool and linen

Not on view


This is a clavus with panels containing figures and two orbiculi. This long tapestry-woven band has a medallion at each end, cut out of a wool tapestry ground. The outer border is of parallel angular zigzags in groups of different wool colors and undyed linen. The band is divided regularly into panels containing wiry candelabra trees or groups of three figures (although the central panel only has two). The latter have bird-like faces and run to the right. One in each group is apparently female, as indicated by the long hair. The males are bright-pink with yellow cloaks, while the females are white with blue cloaks. The small rounded panels at each end of the clavus depict a conventionalized nereid on a hippocamp. The orbiculi may enclose stylized animals. Colors used: undyed linen, undyed light wool, undyed tan, dark blue, medium blue, dark gree, yellow, red, pink (all wool).

D. Thompson, Unpublished Ms. of the Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (1976), Cat., no. 136.

Exhibition History
See Provenance.

Acquisition History
Collection of Mrs. William Henry Crocker (Ethel Willard Sperry Crocker, 1861–1934), San Francisco, CA.

By descent to her four children, Ethel Mary Cocker De Limur (1891-1964), William W. Crocker (1893-1964), Helen Crocker Russell (1897-1966), and Charles Wynn Crocker (1904-1961), 1934.

On loan to the San Francisco Museum of Art until 1953, when the collection was shipped to Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

Gift of William W. Crocker, Helen Crocker Russell, Ethel Mary de Limur, and Charles Crocker in memory of their mother, Mrs. William H. Crocker, 1955.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C.