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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Rug, Fragment of
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Date: n.d.
Object Type: Textiles
Classification Term: Textiles-Rugs
Materials and Techniques: textile
Dimensions: 40 5/32 x 46 1/16 in. (102 x 117 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 31.2.1
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1931

This brilliantly colored fragment, with its interlocking designs and shaded geometric meander, is a tour de force of illusionism. The double border of a meander enclosing squares and rosettes and an angular reciprocal vine with leaves and bunches of grapes frames a field, which probably consisted originally of four or six rectangles. Rarely can the design of a floor cover be so directly linked, as this one is, to decorative floor patterns. Its geometric field pattern resembles Roman and Early Christian mosaic pavements found throughout southern and eastern Mediterranean lands. The technique represented here is not the true knotted-pile weaving of Oriental carpets but the cut-loop technique seen in some Egyptian weavings going back to dynastic times. Supplementary wefts of the required colors were inserted and drawn up at intervals to create loops that, when cut, formed a thick fabric. This is a rare example of an early textile that most certainly functioned as a floor covering. In addition to its connection to floor design already noted, this fragment has pile throughout. By contrast, the majority of surviving piled Byzantine period textiles have discrete areas of cut loops for pattern set against expanses of plain linen ground, an arrangement unsuitable for floor use.

AMICA ID: MMA_.31.2.1
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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