Name of Object:

Cloth fragment


Monastir, Tunisia

Holding Museum:

Ribat Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira 3rd century / AD 9th century

Museum Inventory Number:

T 002

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Woven wool.


Oblong, length 74 cm width 13 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Tulunid (Abbasid)




The many different colours of the fragment combine serenely and harmoniously. The mainly red of beige background is decorated with strips containing geometric motifs (mostly medallions) alternating with floral patterns (stylised scrolled stalks and leaves) and highly stylised birds.
The motifs are mainly in blue (indigo), yellow (saffron), and red (cochineal dye or lacquer). Beige-green and other colours accompany these.
The cloth is woven in the manner used by Coptic weavers over several centuries. This fragment appears to come from high Egypt, well-known since ancient times for its weaving of wool.

View Short Description

Fragment of a heavily dyed fabric combining geometric and plant motifs. The needlework techniques and decorative motifs are similar to those found in Egyptian tiraz from the Tulunid era. This fragment is thought to come from Upper Egypt, famed since Antiquity for its wool weaving.

How date and origin were established:

The type of weaving and the decoration are similar to those found in Egyptian tiraz dating from the same Tulunid era in the 3rd / 9th century.

How Object was obtained:

The cloth fragment was bought in 1958 by the late H. H. Abdelwahab, former Director of the National Institute of Art and Archaeology, from an Egyptian antique dealer. He then donated it to the Ribat Museum at Monastir.

How provenance was established:

The type of weaving and the decoration are similar to those found in Egyptian tiraz dating from the same era.

Citation of this web page:

Mourad Rammah "Cloth fragment" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;tn;Mus01_B;49;en

Prepared by: Mourad RammahMourad Rammah

Né en 1953 à Kairouan, docteur en archéologie islamique, Mourad Rammah est le conservateur de la médina de Kairouan. Lauréat du prix Agha Khan d'architecture, il publie divers articles sur l'histoire de l'archéologie médiévale islamique en Tunisie et participe à différentes expositions sur l'architecture islamique. De 1982 à 1994, il est en charge du département de muséographie du Centre des arts et des civilisations islamiques. Mourad Rammah est également directeur du Centre des manuscrits de Kairouan.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: David Ash
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: TN 77


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