Band with music maker
3rd-7th century CE
Early Byzantine Egypt
Donor; Dikran Kelekian; Kelekian began collecting Egyptian textile fragments around 1900 when he was a juror for the Paris Exposition where Gayet who excavated at Antinoe (Antinoopolis) exhibited. (See Hoskins, p. 129, below on the question of whether Kelekian acquired works from Gayet which would provide a provenance to Antinoé for the Bates pieces. It appears from comments made by Hartley and also by Nanette Kelekian that Kelekian held on to pieces he acquired at this early date rather than sell them as he did other media, especially since much of the collection went to the Met well after Kelekian’s death as a gift from Nanette Kelekian. Fluck below argues that proposals for early find spots such as Saqqara, provided by Riegl for the Vienna collection are inexplicable since there was no evidence for this and that Arsinoé is likely for that collection as well.) Around 1910 Kelekian’s mother, Mariam (Marie) Kelekian, sewed approximately 1000 fragments to cardboard plates. Most of these have gone to the Met and since the Bates cards match the format and handwriting of those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Kelekian Albums,” it seems likely that they were part of this same group. (See: Thomas, “Coptic and Byzantine…,” figure 7.4) The so-called Kelekian price code is as follows according to the Met’s Kelekian archive in the Onassis Library. Based on the letters of the name of Kelekian’s wife, Marguerite, in Armenian (Makrouchi) they are M=1, A=2, K=3, R=4, O=5, U=6, H=7, I=8, C=9, X or G =0. So, for example, ROXGG would be $45,000.
Conversation with Nanette Kelekian, Dikran Kelekian’s granddaughter, May 16, 2020, included her report that Hartley exchanged textile pieces with Kelekian for Hartley works. As a teenager, she met Hartley during one of these exchanges.
-Rebecca Corrie, August 10, 2020
Comparable work includes Egger, plates 59 and 31 with nude dancers and musicians with similar legs: Frühchristliche, Abb. 127 with nude dancers; Auth article, fig. 9; Woodfin, #5 with similar red ground; Carroll, #54, p. 160. Generally similar dating.
These citations can be found in the following sources, which will be used for all the subsequent textile entries, through 1951.2.75.w, but cited fully only here.
Auth, Susan H., “Significance of Egyptian, Classiscal, and Christian Themes in Coptic Art,” in Coptic Studies on the Threshold of a New Millennium II, Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies, Mat Immerzeel and Jacques van der Vliet eds., Leiden, Paris, and Dudley, MA, 2004, pp. 1141-1158.
Ball, Jennifer, “Charms: Protective and Auspicious Motifs,” in Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity, Thelma Thomas, ed., Princeton University Press for the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU, 2016, pp. 54-64.
Carroll, Diane Lee, Looms and Textiles of the Copts: First Millennium Egyptian Textiles in the Carl Austin Rietz Collection of the California Academy of Sciences, California Academy of Sciences, 1988.
De Moor, Antoine, Mark van Strydonck, and Chris Verhecken-Lammens, “Radiocarbon Dating of a Particular Type of Coptic Woollen Tunics,” in Coptic Studies on the Threshold of a New Millennium II, pp. 1425-1442.
Egger, Gerhart, Koptische Textilen, Vienna: Ősterreichische Museum für Angewandte Kunst, 1967.
Elsner, Jaś, “Mutable, Flexible, Fluid: Papyrus Drawings for Textiles and Replication in Roman Art,” The Art Bulletin 102.3 (September 2020), pp. 7-27.
Evans, Helen, “The Continuity of Late Antique Patterns,” in Designing Identity, as above under Ball, pp. 66-77.
Evans, Helen with Brandie Ratliff eds., Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition 7th – 9th Century, New Haven and London: 2012.
Frühchristliche und Koptische Kunst: Ausstellung in der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien, 11. März bus 3. Mai 1964.
Fluck, Cäcilia, “Textiles from Arsinoe/Madīnat al-Fayyūm Reconsidered: Georg Schweinfurth’s Finds from 1886,” in Textiles in Situ: Their Finds Spots in Egypt and Neighboring Countries in the First Millennium CE, Sabine Schrenk, ed., Abegg-Stiftung, 2006, 17-31.
Hoskins, Nancy Arthur, The Coptic Tapestry Albums and the Archaeologist of Antinoé, Albert Gayet, Skein Publications, 2004.
Kajitani, Nobuko, “Textiles and Their Context in the Third and Fourth Century CE Cemetery of al-Bagawat, Khargah Oasis, Egypt, from 1907-1931 Excavations by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in Textiles in Situ,(as above in Fluck) pp. 95-112.
Maguire, Eunice, Dauterman, Weavings from Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic Egypt: The Rich Life and the Dance. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1999.
Thomas, Thelma, K., “Coptic and Byzantine Textiles found in Egypt: Corpora, collections, and scholarly perspectives,” in Roger S. Bagnall, ed., Egypt in the Byzantine World, 300-700, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 137-161.
Thomas, Thelma K., “From Curiosities to Objects of Art: Modern Reception of Late Antique Egyptian Textiles as Reflected in Dikran Kelekian’s Album of CA. 1910.” In Alchermes, Evans, and Thomas, eds., Anathemata eortika: Studies in Honor of Thomas F. Mathews, Mainz, 2009, pp. 300-312.
Thomas, Thelma K. “Material Meaning in Late Antiquity,” in Designing Identity, as above under Ball, pp. 21-53.
Woodfin, Warren, ed., From the Desert to the City: The Journey of Late Ancient Textiles: Selections from the Rose Charon Textile Collection with Related Objects, Queens College, CUNY, 2018.