Lampas: silk and gilt-metal thread
Overall: 36.7 x 33.7 cm (14 7/16 x 13 1/4 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1423
Ottoman manufacturers also wove luxury silks with Christian images for the largest markets outside of
the reigning sultans, whose need for luxury fabrics was voracious, targeting the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the state of Muscovy (Moscow), which lacked silk industries. Worn as majestic church vestments, they were prized signifiers of the power and wealth of the Eastern Orthodox church.
Christian imagery is often displayed in small medallion patterns, as seen here, woven in the standard Ottoman lampas technique. In this highest grade lampas with extensive gilt-metal thread, small medallions enclose half-length images of Christ in a benedictory pose alternating with crosses. The abbreviated inscription in the roundel, IC XC, translates as "Jesus Christ," and IC XC N K reads
"Jesus Christ Victorious."
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