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 © Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Name of Object:

Textile fragment


Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Holding Museum:

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


11th century

Type of object:

Textile fragment

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):



21cm x 51.5cm

Period / Dynasty:

Buyid (945–1055)


Iran, Rayy


This fragment is an exceptional example of Buyid dynasty (945–1055) textiles from both a historical and an aesthetic viewpoint. The frieze is adorned with two-headed eagles carrying a winged creature and with stylized trees. The light-brown motifs are embellished with epigraphs that are particularly noticeable on the tops of the trees and on the band bordering the textile’s upper edge. The fragment’s style and iconography are similar to those of a group of four textiles discovered in the ancient necropolis of Nakhara Khanah, near Rayy. It remains to be determined whether this textile was designed to serve as a shroud or was selected from the belongings of the deceased.

How date and origin were established:

The date was attributed by Gaston Wiet, Soieries persanes, Cairo: Imprimerie de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 1948: pp. 35–41, no. 4. Two comparable examples are in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (nos. 55.52 and 62.264).

How Object was obtained:

Gift of F. Cleveland Morgan

Gift of F. Cleveland Morgan in 1946, purchased from the Iranian Institute in New York the same year

Selected bibliography:

Coulin Weibel, Adele, Two Thousand Years of Textiles, New York: Pantheon, 1952: 107.
Grube, Ernst J., The World of Islam, Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1966: 42.
Salam-Liebich, Hayat, Art islamique: objets du quotidien / Islamic Art: Objects for Daily Use, Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1983: 64.
Salam-Liebich, Hayat, “Masterpieces of Persian Textiles from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Collection”, Iranian Studies, 25.1–2 (1992): 19–29, 19, fig. 1.
Shepherd, Dorothy G., “Medieval Persian Silks in Fact and Fancy”, Bulletin de liaison du CIETA (Centre internationale d'étude des textiles anciens), 39‒40 (1974): 1–135.
Upham Pope, Arthur, Masterpieces of Persian Art, New York: Dryden Press, 1945: 72.
Wiet, Gaston, Soieries persanes, Cairo: Imprimerie de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 1948: 10.

Citation of this web page:

Shirin Shafiee "Textile fragment"  [db_in_citation_dca]  2019.;DCA;ca;Mus31;4;en

Prepared by: Shirin Shafiee
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: CA1_004

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