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Roundels (Orbiculi)

7th century - 10th century
Diameter 16.9 cm (warp measurement)
wool on linen

Not on view


A pair of tapestry roundels from a tunic, in colored wools on gold-tan ground. From Thompson, no. 77 (see Bibliography): "Pair of roundels on a linen background, each depicting an inhabited tree with wiry branches and two large fruits growing from a vase. Flanking the vase are confronted lions with heads reversed; in the central register are confronted hares; and at the top of each tree, a booted and helmeted putto who with one hand holds a bird and with the other a bowl, a missile, or an animal. The outer border consists of polychrome toothed, arrowhead-shapes."

Technical Description:
Warp: S-spun Z tightly plied undyed linen.
Wefts: S undyed linen, S brownish purple (used for outlines), S dark blue, S medium blue, S light blue, S light green, S yellow, S apricot, S red, S pink wool.
1 tapestry, slit, interlocked, a little dovetailed, 12 plied warps, 28-32 wefts, per cm. A little soumak wrapping.

Catalogue of Textile Fabrics, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, compiled by F. Morris, 1940, Vol. I, p. 181 (unpublished).

D. Thompson, Catalogue of Textiles in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (unpublished Ms.) (1976), cat. no. 77.

Acquisition History
Found in Egypt.

Acquired from the Tano Collection, Cairo (through Miss Morris), 1932.

Mildred Barnes and Robert Bliss, Dumbarton Oaks.

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