"Silk velvet.
Italy, second half 15th century.
Acquired from Salvadori, Florence.

This piece consists of two fragments joined, both showing the same section of the pattern. The design, which is incomplete, includes stems, leaves, flowers and other plant forms in green, red and blue on a cream ground. The pattern unit is 14.25 cm wide.

This is a solid velvet with silk pile in four colours on an extended tabby ground. The cream pile which formed the background to the pattern is almost entirely worn away. There are remains of a pale blue tabby selvage.

The exquisite polychrome velvets of the renaissance period are much rarer than the monochrome type. No doubt the pattern here was a complex curvilinear lattice..."

European Textiles in the Keir Collection 400BC to 1800AD, Monique King and Donald King, Faber and Faber, London, 1990




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