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Details & Cataloguing

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

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London

Egypt, 5th/6th century
COPTIC WARRIOR
composite panel, comprised of sections of pile woven elements joined and later mounted against a light almond coloured textile
wool uncut warp loop pile, linen
framed: 87.5 by 58.5cm., 34¾ by 23cm.
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Provenance

Kelekian Collection
Christie's, London, 15 May 2002, lot 221

Catalogue Note

Coptic indicates not only a period of Egyptian history that began in the 4th century, but also the cultural and artistic manifestations of a people at the important crossroads, representing ancient Egyptian roots and Hellenistic influences on the local culture. The designs of the textiles include Classical, mythological and figurative elements, including Amazons, centaurs, wrestlers and ranks of armed men. Textiles are considered one of the most distinguishing expressions of Coptic art. There are fragments from wall hangings, from homes or churches, vestments, cushions, draperies, table linens and carpets. This piece has vibrant colours, which is evident in other Coptic pieces, whether flatwoven or knotted pile technique, and reveals what could be achieved by the skilled Christian Egyptian dyers, especially to the greens, which was not achieved in Europe until well into the Middle Ages. For an equally evocative example, depicting a Coptic Warrior, which is a portion of a hanging, Egypt, 5th/6th century, 401-600AD, (The Art Institute of Chicago, Grace R. Smith Textile Endowment, 1982.1578), showing a standing male figure in full tunic, with similar facial single brow, and standing in architectural niche, with columns at the side, and arch, which with bands of colour, is like a rainbow. This cited example and the offered warrior, are unusual in being knotted pile, as wrestlers and warriors and other Coptic figural example are flatweave.

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

|
London