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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Coptic Textile Fragment with Roman Soldiers

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LOT 0517

GBP (£) 500 - 700
EUR (€) 590 - 820
USD ($) 660 - 930

Sold for (Inc. bp): £1,651

Coptic Textile Fragment with Roman Soldiers

6th-7th century AD

A tapestry fragment in silk and wool from a tunic or wall hanging, representing harvest scenes and scenes of Roman soldiers hunting, comprising a round patch, or orbiculus, with five youths harvesting and pressing grapes in a tub, two playing musical instruments, another hunting scene to the left, with a soldier wearing a cloak, a tunic and wide Persian trousers, chasing a lion with a sword and holding a small shield, two other animals to the upper part. 7 grams, 21cm (8 1/4"). Fair condition. Rare.

Property of a Kensington gentleman; acquired from Hermann Historica, Germany, auction 67, part of lot 2025; accompanied by an archaeological report by Dr Raffaele D'Amato for which this is a part; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10681-174371(part).

Cf. Rutschowscaya, M., Coptic Fabrics, Paris, 1990, pp.41, 103-105, 117; Fluck, C., Vogelsang-Eastwood, Riding Costume in Egypt, origin and appearance, Leiden, Boston, 2004, figs.105 and esp. Col. fig.41.

The fragment may be part of a collar decoration. The representation of military characters, the red colour of the background, and the hunting parties – often associated with military training– indicate the likelihood that these are fragments from the military tunic of a high-ranking officer.