Fragment of fabric that ...

Textiles and clothing


Fragment of fabric that lined the reliquary of the True Cross of Tost

Byzantine Empire
10th-11th centuries, before 1040
Weft-faced compound twill, three lats. Silk two warps and three wefts
14.9 x 8 cm; 7.6 x 9 cm; 1.4 x 0.6 cm; 1.2 x 1.3 cm; 0.7 x 0.9 cm; 0.9 x 1 cm
From the church of Sant Martí in Tost (Alt Urgell)
MEV 8642

This fabric once lined a relics container (MEV 8641) given by Abbot Oliba to Arnau Mir de Tost, lord of Àger, in 1040, as is stated on a parchment (MEV 8641) that was inside the said container. We presume that prior to that it had been in the monastery of Ripoll. The fabric is badly damaged and torn. Its decoration must have formed a circle with two simurghs face to face and opposed inside it, of which only the heads remain. They have a dog's head and a bird of prey's beak, and around their necks they are wearing a pearl necklace; the rest of the body must also have been a dog's with wings outspread, a bird of prey's talons and a peacock's tail. This is an imaginary animal of Persian origin considered to be a benefactor during the Sassanid Persian Empire; on the reliefs of Taq-i Bustan the sovereign wears clothes decorated with circles containing simurghs. One of the wefts must have been blue or green silk, which through oxidisation of the colorants has turned black and forms the background of the part conserved. Two more fabrics lined the casket. One (MEV 8643), of ivory coloured silk, is a monochrome weft-faced compound twill ornamented with circles. The other (MEV 8644), of silk with different-coloured stripes, is a taffeta striped through changes to the colour of the threads of the warp.

9-10-11 Gothic Art
12-13-14 Renaissance
15-16 Textiles and Clothing
17 Glass