© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Textile fragment from the shrine of San Librada, Sigüenza Cathedral


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira late 5th–first half 6th century / AD first half 12th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas

Period / Dynasty:

Taifa kingdoms




This textile fragment displays a pattern of roundels bearing addorsed griffins with gazelles below their forelegs, within a border of pairs of fantastic animals. The interstitial motif consists of an eight-pointed star enclosing a rosette and surrounded by pairs of confronted quadrupeds. The pattern, popular in both Muslim and Byzantine worlds, recalls earlier silks of the eastern Mediterranean and, ultimately, of Central Asia. Silks of this type have been found in reliquaries of churches in Spain; they may be the "patterns with circles" of Almeria referred to in historical documents. These Islamic textiles were most likely brought to Sigüenza by Alfonso VII, in 1147 on the occasion of the victory over the Almoravids and the capture of Almeria.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Funds from various donors, 1958

Citation of this web page:

 "Textile fragment from the shrine of San Librada, Sigüenza Cathedral" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;30;en&id=textiles

MWNF Working Number: US3 30

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