Most Coptic textiles, ancient and early Islamic fabrics unearthed of burial grounds and other archeological sites in Egypt in the 19th century, are woven woolen or linen goods. These items - including curtains, blankets, pillows, tunics, mantle cloths, and a wide range of accessories - produced between the 3rd and 8th centuries convey a vivid impression of the diversity of textile production during the period.
This new genre of archeological find was presented for the very first time in 1883 at what is now the MAK in Vienna, accompanied by a catalogue compiled by its discoverers - Orientalist Josef von Karabacek and art dealer Theodor Graf. The MAK purchased the core of Graf's collection that same year.
Today, this significant collection of Coptic textiles encompasses more than 1,000 objects. The 114 objects selected for presentation in this book offer a representative overview. Each is described in detail and archeologically classified, and weaving methods are discussed.