The Show


Lambrequin 14th–15th centuries, Egypt Appliqué cotton Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 88026


Shaped like a banner or flag, this small appliqué fragment is a lambrequin. It was used to decorate pillows or ceremonial tents during the Mamluk period (1250–1517). The undyed white cotton against the deep indigo blue ground creates an ornate pattern in high color contrast. Tents were used as portable dwellings as well as in imperial rituals and ceremonies. Cairo was well known for its tent-making workshops, which continued to function after the Ottoman conquest in 1517. In fact, there are expert appliqué tent craftsmen still working in Cairo today.

Bibliography: Ellis 2001, 74–77, figs. 51–53; Hoskins 2002, 223–224, fig. 18; Lamm 1937, 75; Andrews 1999; Mansel 1988; O'Kane 1993; and Bowker 2014.

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