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    Sale 12257

    Antiquities

    25 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 48

    A COPTIC TEXTILE FRAGMENT

    CIRCA 5TH-6TH CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A COPTIC TEXTILE FRAGMENT
    CIRCA 5TH-6TH CENTURY A.D.
    8 ¾ in. x 7 ¼ in. (21.6 cm. x 18.4 cm.)


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    Rose Choron (1916-2014) began collecting Coptic textiles after a chance encounter with an example at a gallery in Zurich in the mid 1950s. Neither she nor the gallerist knew what the piece was, but she was instantly attracted to its rich colors and abstract pattern. The next year in New York, she showed it to art historian Meyer Schapiro who identified the piece as a 4th century A.D. fragment of a Coptic tunic. She proceeded to amass a wonderful collection of textiles, which was featured in a 1999 exhibition at the Krannert Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign entitled, Weavings from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Egypt, The Rich Life and the Dance. In the collector's preface to the exhibition catalogue, she reflects that: "What engages me most in these textiles is their unbelievable variety in style and character, which may be graceful, sophisticated, carefully crafted in one piece and utterly naive, grotesque almost crude in another. I find them, each in its own way, most charming and appealing. They are my playful Klees and my Picassos" (op. cit. p. 6).

    Provenance

    Rose Choron, Switzerland, prior to 1980; thence by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ROSE CHORON


    Literature

    A. Baginski and A. Tidhar, Textiles from Egypt 4th-13th Centuries C.E., Tel-Aviv, 1980, p. 53, no. 37.
    E.D. Maguire, Weavings from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Egypt, The Rich Life and the Dance, Urbana-Champaign, 1999, pp. 156-157, no. C15.


    Exhibited

    Jerusalem, L.A. Mayer Memorial Institute for Islamic Art, Textiles from Egypt 4th-13th Centuries C.E., 1980.
    Urbana-Champaign, Krannert Art Museum, Weavings from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Egypt, The Rich Life and the Dance, 1999.