"Silk velvet.
Italy, possibly Florence, late 15th or early 16th century.
Acquired from Salvadori, Florence.

The pattern, in cream and yellow, with details in red, green and blue, is a hexagonal lattice enclosing six-lobed rosettes. Some of the latter contain plant motifs; others show a phoenix on its pyre, with a scroll bearing a reversed inscription, NORS VIVE, presumably garbled Latin or French for 'Let the dead live'. The pattern unit measures 47.5 cm in length; the complete pattern width is 57 cm.

The velvet is in cream silk cut pile (mostly worn away) with details in red, green and blue silk uncut pile; the yellow areas are formed by a yellow pattern weft bound in 1\2 twill. There are tabby selvages, striped green and cream."

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




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