Museum Folkwang
  • Coptic Textiles

  • Coptic textiles Egypt, 3rd – 8th century CE. For the followers of the Arts & Crafts movement it was virtually a must to own a collection of Egyptian textiles from Late Antiquity. Indeed, until the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s they were considered the oldest textiles in the world. They survived as filling and clothing for mummies and as rags in rubbish dumps in ancient settlements.

    When compiling his collection, Karl Ernst Osthaus primarily selected textiles based on the artistic or artisanal execution of the decoration. The fragments, mostly embellished sections, were cut out from surviving fabrics and garments and sold individually.

    These textiles are commonly described as ›Coptic‹, creating associations with Egyptian Christians and a religious context. This Christian community, however, only separated from the main church in 451 A.D., while the textiles themselves often date from much earlier. Furthermore, their motifs relate to a Hellenistic tradition that continued unbroken into the Islamic period. Thus ›Coptic‹ is used here in its original sense of ›Egyptian‹, a short form from the Greek ›Aigyptioi‹.
    The focus in the collection put together by Karl Ernst Osthaus, probably at the turn of the century, lies in the artistic, artisanal working of the ornamentation of the textiles. The fragments, generally decorative pieces, were cut from cloths and clothes and sold individually.
  • Exh_Title_S: Coptic Textiles
  • Exh_Id: 501
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Archaeology, Global Art, Applied Arts
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 185
Works
Fragment eines Vorhangs
  • Egypt
  • Fragment eines Vorhangs, Spätantike, 4.–5. Jh.

  • Fragment of a Curtain
  • Eros with two baskets. Together with other Eros figures, he decorated a rectangular curtain in regular, scattered patterns
  • Inv. TS 06 198a
Fragment eines Vorhangs
  • Egypt
  • Fragment eines Vorhangs, Spätantike, 4.–5. Jh.

  • Fragment of a Curtain
  • Winged Eros with Cymbals. Together with Other Eros Figures, He Decorated a Rectangular Curtain in Regular, Scattered Patterns
  • Inv. TS 06 198b
Brustpartie einer Leinentunika
  • Egypt
  • Brustpartie einer Leinentunika, Spätantike, 4.–5. Jh.

  • Upper Torso Section of a Linen Tunic
  • Below the neckline, beginning of a decorated area structured by arcades. A maenad, a shepherd and a gillie fill the fields.
  • Inv. TS 06 199
Fragment einer Leinentunika
  • Egypt
  • Fragment einer Leinentunika, frühislamische Zeit, Mitte 7.–8. Jh.

  • Fragment of a Linen Tunic
  • Section from the knee area with appliquéd medaillon (orbiculus). The scarlet red main frieze has four figures and four architectural motifs in alternation.
  • Inv. TS 06 216
Schulterpartie einer Leinentunika
  • Egypt
  • Schulterpartie einer Leinentunika, frühislamische Zeit, Mitte 7.–8. Jh.

  • Shoulder Section of a Linen Tunic
  • Transition from shoulder to sleeve with appliquéd decoration. In the scarlet red ground are medaillons, each with a haloed warrior saint sewn in.
  • Inv. TS 06 221