Name of Object:

Stole, mirror dressing (tenchifa)


Rabat, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Museum of the Udayas

Date of Object:

Hegira 12th-13th centuries / AD 18th-19th centuries

Museum Inventory Number:

D 1588

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silk satin embroidered with silk and gold thread.


Length 330 cm, width 54 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Tetouan, Morocco.


A long stole embroidered on both ends and on part of the sides.
At the ends, the decoration is divided into two sections that precede a fillet of silk thread spirals and a golden thread braid.
The first section consists of a frieze of wild roses arranged around a cruciform pistil and stylised serrated horseshoe hyacinths arranged obliquely around the fleurons.
The second section consists of a bouquet of flowers growing from a thick undulating line in green silk representing foliage from which the stems and stylised flowers emerge. The ovoid medallion with serrated edges that finishes it is reminiscent of the pomegranate. The borders between the two end compositions are decorated with floral motifs suggesting small butterflies and finished with a golden braid.
All of these motifs would have been embroidered by women with brightly and harmoniously coloured thread. The black silk line that surrounds them enhances the design.
Stoles of this type were hung around mirror frames during festivals to ward off the evil eye. Although the composition and floral motifs are borrowed from the vegetal embroidery of the Algerian Ottomans, the very free stylisation distances it from this original model and sets the piece apart, constituting a genre in itself.

View Short Description

This long stole is embroidered on both ends and part of the sides and would have been hung around mirror frames on feast days to ward off the evil eye. Its compositions and floral motifs, although stylised, are borrowed from the plant repertoire of Algerian Ottoman embroidery.

How date and origin were established:

Comparison with objects mentioned in published studies on the same type of decoration and object (see M. Guérard).

How Object was obtained:

Purchased in 1987.

How provenance was established:

This embroidery, the type of stole and the way it was used are all characteristic of Tetouan.

Selected bibliography:

Guérard, M., “Les broderies de Tétouan”, Hespéris-Tamouda, X, fasc. 1 & 2, Rabat, 1969, pp.191–234.
Miège, J.-L., Benaboud, M. and Erzini, N., Tétouan, ville andalouse marocaine, Paris, 1996.
Soustiel, J., L'art turc, céramique, tapis, étoffes, velours, broderies, Paris 1852.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Stole, mirror dressing (tenchifa)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;ISL;ma;Mus01_B;50;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-BoujibarNaima El Khatib-Boujibar

Archéologue et historienne de l'art, titulaire d'une licence en lettres (française), N. Elkhatib-Boujibar a également étudié l'archéologie et l'histoire de l'art à l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie de Paris, l'art islamique et la muséologie à l'École du Louvre (Paris), et suivi des cours à l'Institut d'ethnographie de l'Université de Neuchâtel (Suisse). Elle a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité, parmi lesquels directrice des Musées et de l'Archéologie, inspectrice générale des Musées et de l'Archéologie, déléguée régionale du ministère de la Culture.
Elle a dirigé un chantier de fouille durant 20 ans et enseigné à l'Institut national marocain des sciences de l'archéologie et du patrimoine (INSAP). Elle a organisé différentes expositions sur le patrimoine marocain, au Maroc comme à l'étranger, et animé des cycles de conférence, dont celui sur l'art islamique à la “Villa des Arts” à Casablanca.
N. El Khatib-Boujibar a publié différents articles sur le patrimoine archéologique, artistique et architectural marocain, mais aussi sur d'autres sites islamiques et sur les arts mobiliers. Elle a également participé à la rédaction du catalogue Musée Sans Frontières Le Maroc andalou, à la rencontre d'un art de vivre.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: MO 75


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