© Benaki Museum

Name of Object:

Pile carpet fragment


Athens, Greece

Holding Museum:

Benaki Museum


8th-10th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:



55 x 50 cm




These five fragments comprise the lower left section of a large carpet, as is indicated by the width of the main border (19-20 cm.). The decoration is simple and probably involved the use of a cartoon as it contains no errors or distortions: this is particularly apparent in the impeccable rounded dots on the straight twin-coloured bands, the perfectly formed lozenges, the delicate ornamentation and the change of direction of the pattern at the corners of the carpet. The combination of linen, wool and cotton, the chromatic harmony, the impeccable relationship between pattern and colour and the notable craftsmanship all contribute towards the superb quality of this carpet.

How date and origin were established:

It belongs to a group of fragments attributed to Egypt and their dating between the 8th and the 11th century

How Object was obtained:

Acquired in Egypt

How provenance was established:

Factors that determine the provenance: 1. The use of linen, which is the basic Egyptian fibre, for both warps and wefts; 2. The left-twisting (S) spin of the materials is also an Egyptian feature. Linen warps S-spun, Z-plied are found in Coptic fabrics of the 9th-10th century. Right-twisted spinning (Z) is rarely found in Group A; 3. The technique of weaving with cut-pile loops which continues the long-standing Egyptian tradition of weaving with a pile made of loops; 4. The pattern, colouring and techniques of this group fragments bear a close resemblance to contemporaneous Coptic textiles. 5. The fragments display similarities to certain inscribed and non-inscribed fragments from Fustat.

Selected bibliography:

Published in Theologou, J., Ozoline, A., Sartzetakis, Y., "Fustat Carpet Fragments", Hali, 156 (summer 2008): 65-71.

Citation of this web page:

Mina Moraitou "Pile carpet fragment" in [Discover Carpet Art] , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;DCA;gr;Mus31;5;en&id=carpets

Prepared by: Mina Moraitou

MWNF Working Number: GR1_005

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