The Coptic Tapestry Albums and the Archaeologist of Antinoé, Albert Gayet

Paperback | December 1, 2003

byNancy Arthur Hoskins

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Vibrant tapestries of beribboned birds, cantering centaurs, and Dionysian dancers, woven in Coptic Egypt more than a thousand years ago, were artfully arranged in a handsome pair of albums in 1913. Some of the fabrics are shown in unique collage compositions. Sandals, spindles, and a mysterious lock of hair are assembled in a shallow box at the back of one album. Many textiles in this important collection, housed at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, were once joined by warp and weft with those from the Musée du Louvre and other major museums.

Nancy Hoskins deftly interweaves the creation of the textiles in the Greco-Roman city of Antinoé, Egypt, with their discovery by the charismatic French archaeologist Albert Gayet (1856-1916). Gayet staged stunning exhibitions of the pieces in Paris at the turn of the century and ultimately gave them to museums or sold them. One collector, Henry Bryon, had his 144 fabrics bound into the two albums featured here.

The album pages and covers are illustrated in glowing color, along with archival photographs from Gayet's expeditions. The style, structure, and iconography of each tapestry, tabby, and tablet-woven textile are discussed within the cultural construct of Late Antique and Early Christian Egypt. Detailed technical drawings illustrate the special weaving techniques of the Copts. Directions for six weaving projects inspired by the album fragments are included. The story of the inimitable Coptic tapestry albums will delight weavers, textile historians, art historians, and archaeologists.

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Vibrant tapestries of beribboned birds, cantering centaurs, and Dionysian dancers, woven in Coptic Egypt more than a thousand years ago, were artfully arranged in a handsome pair of albums in 1913. Some of the fabrics are shown in unique collage compositions. Sandals, spindles, and a mysterious lock of hair are assembled in a shallow b...

Nancy Arthur Hoskins, a former college weaving instructor, researched Coptic collections in over fifty museums around the world. She is the author of Universal Stitches for Weaving, Embroidery, and Other Fiber Arts and Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taqueté.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 10.88 × 8.43 × 0.53 inPublished:December 1, 2003Publisher:UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295983744

ISBN - 13:9780295983745

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Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceIntroductionPart OneThe Archaeologist of Antinoe, Albert GayetPart TwoThe Antinoe Textiles: Fiber, Fabric, and FashionPart ThreeThe Text and Textile AlbumsConnections and ConclusionsAppendixesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Vibrant tapestries of beribboned birds, cantering centaurs, and Dionysian dancers, woven in Coptic Egypt more than a thousand years ago, were artfully arranged in a handsome pair of albums in 1913. Some of the fabrics are shown in unique collage compositions. Sandals, spindles, and a mysterious lock of hair are assembled in a shallow box at the back of one album. Many textiles in this important collection, housed at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, were once joined by warp and weft with those from the Musée du Louvre and other major museums.Nancy Hoskins deftly interweaves the creation of the textiles in the Greco-Roman city of Antinoé, Egypt, with their discovery by the charismatic French archaeologist Albert Gayet (1856-1916). Gayet staged stunning exhibitions of the pieces in Paris at the turn of the century and ultimately gave them to museums or sold them. One collector, Henry Bryon, had his 144 fabrics bound into the two albums featured here.The album pages and covers are illustrated in glowing color, along with archival photographs from Gayet's expeditions. The style, structure, and iconography of each tapestry, tabby, and tablet-woven textile are discussed within the cultural construct of Late Antique and Early Christian Egypt. Detailed technical drawings illustrate the special weaving techniques of the Copts. Directions for six weaving projects inspired by the album fragments are included. The story of the inimitable Coptic tapestry albums will delight weavers, textile historians, art historians, and archaeologists.Hoskins' documentation of this fascinating, if not unique, collection is thorough, well-researched and highly accessible..[She] paints a captivating and informative picture of this unusual collection and the person responsible for it." - Textile Society of America