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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Band with Stylized Animals
Textile Arts
Work Type
3rd-5th century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Africa
Byzantine period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Blue and buff wool with linen threads on wool warps
7.94 x 23.5 cm (3 1/8 x 9 1/4 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Dr. Denman W. Ross
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This is a tapestry woven band, with the design executed in dark blue wool. The visible warps are yellow in color. The band contains seven circles of a regularized, twisting vine inhabited by a sequence of alternating animals. Perhaps they are lions or hares. Every other animal wears a ribbon round its neck.

The borders of the band are created out of thick zigzagging vines. The outer empty spaces along this vine sprout acanthus or grape leaves. The inner sides of the vine border are filled diamond shapes. The designs running along these two thick vines are created in a slightly darker and yellower thread than the other areas of undyed yarn. Details of the animals and the outer vine borders are executed in flying shuttle using undyed thread.

This band is a match for 1924.124, also a gift of Denman Waldo Ross. These two fragments have border designs very similar to that of 1924.110, though their relation to that piece is not certain.

This textile band's design and approximate dimensions match those of 96.152a and 96.152b in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Those pieces were also a gift from the collection of Denman Waldo Ross, and were likely to come from the same textile.

The MFA’s 96.1652a is a single band with 15 circles of the design, height of 3 9/16 in. and a length of 18 1/8 in. MFA 96.152b is a cuff band with 11 circles of the design, dimensions: 6 5/16 and 14 9/16 in.
Exhibition History

Early Christian Africa: Arts of Transformation, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/31/2019 - 01/05/2020

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