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BULLETIN

OF THE METROPOLITAN

MUSEUM OF ART

faces, where satin stitch is employed to simulate flesh tints. Gold cord outlines the draperies and other details of the pattern. In the borders appear heraldic arms' which would indicate an Italian provenance for these pieces, though this type of embroidery was done also in Spain, in Flanders, and in France. The small-checkered shield is in itself inconclusive, since it was a device common to many houses, but the blazon appearing in the upper right corner- equipole, 5 points gold, 4 gules-was borne by three houses only, two of them possessed of no extraordinary distinction, the third, the Terzago, however, being great and conspicuous people at the court of Ludovico (Sforza) il Moro. It is entirely probable therefore that the orphreys, once the adornment of some splendid vestment, were the gift of a Terzago and a member of some illustrious family united with them by marriage. The lace flounce is one of those charming pieces with a design of needlepoint applied to a ground of machine-made net, a technique characteristic of the nineteenth century. The floral scrolls of the pattern are worked in point de gage, a delicate type of needlework that came into great favor among the Brussels workers in the last half of the century. Lace of this kind was used generally as an adjunct to fashionable costume. It appears in the portraits of ladies painted by Winterhalter, where it presents an effect that is light and graceful. The flounce and the orphreys will be shown during the month of March in the Room of Recent Accessions, after which they will be added to the Museum's permanent collection of textiles in Wing H.
FRANCESLITTLE.

A MODEL OF AN ANCIENT GREEK LOOM


for December, In the Museum BULLETIN 1931, was published an Athenian jug' with a picture of eleven women engaged in various processes of wool working. The loom on
1 Deciphered by Robert T. Nichol of the Museum staff. 1 Now exhibited in the Third Classical Room (acc. no. 31.11.10).

which two of the women are weaving (fig. 2) is of such exceptional interest that a model has been made to show its practical qualities, and placed in Case 6 of the exhibition illustrating the Daily Life of the Greeks and Romans. The model (fig. I) is 5'2 by 512 inches, agreeing in size with an enlarged photograph of the picture, and is made of wood, as are also the shed rods, battens, and shuttles. These and the weights, which are of lead painted to imitate actual terracotta weights, are all in proportion, but because of their miniature size the weights are not quite heavy enough to keep the warp threads taut. Forty linen warp threads, as counted in the photograph, are attached to the cloth beam and tied to the weights in groups of four; in this connection it is interesting to note that a weight is fastened to each warp thread on all other looms known to us in Greek vase paintings. It should also be noted that the cloth beam is of the revolving type, and therefore the length of cloth which could be woven was not limited to the height of the loom. In order to supply a warp long enough to account for the roll on the cloth beam, extra lengths of thread may have been wound about the weights or looped behind them, but the picture does not make this clear. The uptake of the warp on the model is such that seven yards of wool have been woven in, dyed to match as nearly as possible the black and purple of the garments on the vase. A very interesting feature is the method of attaching the warp threads to the crossbar at the bottom, shown in the picture by small crosses. It was found that a continuous thread carried over the crossbar to the left and right of each thread produced these crosses, which act like the dents in the reed of a modern loom in keeping the threads separate. Although this crossbar could apparently be adjusted if desired-perhaps to gain a little more space downward for weaving-its chief purpose seems to have been the spreading of the warp. Its great weight in a loom about five feet wide (such as this must have been, judging from the height of the weavers) would have prevented the use which is made of the modern reed as a beater. Small battens were therefore used to beat the weft into place. 70

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BULLETIN

OF THE METROPOLITAN

MUSEUM OF ART

the study of this Greek loom is the manner of opening the shed. Hitherto the evidence pointed to a single rod which opened a shed across the entire width of the warp for the first weft thread, making it necessary either to carry the second weft thread across with the shuttle before the shed rod could be used again, or to remove and reinsert the shed rod for every passage of the weft middle of the line representing the shed rod. This can be interpreted either as a failure of the glaze at that point, or as indicating two shed rods.2That the latter were intended is

out by The mostimportant pointbrought

produced by altering the length of the shed rods. This vase painting has taught us more about the methods and resourcefulness of the Greek weavers than any other extant
representation. HARRIET FAXON.

thread.In our picturethere is a gap in the

EUROPEAN PRINTED FABRICS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY


A SPECIAL EXHIBITION

A special exhibition of nineteenth-century printed fabrics from the Museum's collection opened in Gallery H 15 on Sun-

FIG.

I.

MODEL OF A GREEK

LOOM

FIG. 2.

DETAIL

OF VASE

PAINTING

suggested by actual experiments, for these showed that two short rods could be inserted in the warp in such a way as to form a shed on each side. In the model the rods were started over the first warp thread on each edge, covering alternate threads until the center was reached. When two women were at work on a large loom it was therefore possible for one to open the shed on her side and, after passing the shuttle through, to weave with it from the center to the edge of the warp; the other woman would then open the shed on her side and proceed in the same way. To divide a large warp in halves in this manner was to effect a great saving in time and labor. It also permitted greater freedom for special weaving, such as lengthwise borders on garments, which could be
2 Cf. BULLETIN, December, 1931, p. 294, note
21,

day, March 13, to continue through October 2. Included among these textiles is a

noteworthy group of fabrics recently presented to the Museum by John Sloane. A splendid toile de Jouy designed by J. B. Huet and other important printed cottons, such as Caravans of Cairo and Les Horaces, after a painting by David, are contained in
this welcome gift.1

The majority of our textiles are of French manufacture,2 of the first half of the nineteenth century. They are often more amus1 Mr. Sloane's gift includes six nineteenthcentury printed cottons, five French and one English. Two printed cottons and one woodblock for cotton printing, French, eighteenthcentury, also the gift of Mr. Sloane, are displayed this month in the Room of Recent Accessions. 2 Many fabrics were made in manufactories at Nantes and Rouen and in Alsace, as well as in the famous one at Jouy. A history of these manu71