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A circular textile fragment with irregular borders depicting flowers in a vase in purple on a yellowed white ground with a red border.

The motif in the woolen, tapestry-woven fragment is circular with some small losses throughout revealing underlying red warp yarns. The motif , a base of flowers surrounded by a circle with scallops around the exterior, is in purple on an undyed ground that has yellowed. The roundel is bordered by plain red the same color as the warp yarns, though it largely missing on the right side of the fragment.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Roundel: Flourishing Vine
Textile Arts
Work Type
5th-6th century
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Africa, Egypt (Ancient)
Byzantine period, Early
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

16.5 x 16.5 cm (6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Denman W. Ross
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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In the roundel, a stylized and symmetrical vine with large leaves and grape clusters grows from a volute krater with a footed base. The border is formed by a design of two alternating motifs: a pair of leaves on a single stem and a triangle topped with a circular shape. The flying shuttle technique creates details in the vine, krater, and border, using a buff colored supplementary weft. Red wool warps are visible in areas where the tapestry wefts have been lost. A red ground with red wool warps and wefts surrounds the roundel.

Publication History

  • Ioli Kalavrezou, Byzantine Women and Their World, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2003), p. 155/fig. 80

Exhibition History

  • Byzantine Women and Their World, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/25/2002 - 04/28/2003
  • 32Q: 3740 Egyptian, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/20/2019 - 11/15/2021

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at