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Fragment of "Harpy Silk"

10th century - 11th century
10.7 cm x 5.6 cm (4 3/16 in. x 2 3/16 in.)

Not on view


These textile fragments of a tan and brown silk double cloth have a floral cross motif flanked by animals and eight-pointed "stars" fillled with patterns. The heads and small sections of four quadrupeds, in confronted pairs inverted 180 degrees to each other, are arranged about a lozenge-shaped space containing a foliated cross. The outlines of the lozenge and the spaces in which the animals appear are determined by octagonal stars filled by a small-scale pattern of stepped lozenges and dotted Maltese crosses; more than half of such a central star is preserved. All patterns are in tan against a brown background on the face of the double cloth which is illustrated. Colors used: tan, unspun tan, brown, and unspun brown silk.

D. Thompson, Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (unpublished manuscript), (1976), cat. no. 175.

Acquisition History
Collection of Royall Tyler, Paris.

Collection of William R. Tyler, Washington, D.C.

Gift of William R. Tyler, Washington, D.C., 1972.

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