Monday, July 01, 2013

Ancient Egyptian Beadwork in Vienna

As a part of the teaching job, we took students on excursions to various cities other than Graz.  We spent four days in Vienna, during which we visited a number of museums.  At the Kunsthistorisches Museum, they had some nice examples of Ancient Egyptian beadwork.

I'm not 100% sure on how these figures were stitched.  My instincts say brick stitch (Diane Fitzgerald has previously documented the use of brick stitch by the Ancient Egyptians), but it could technically be peyote stitch.

In addition to the supposedly brick stitch portions, there are remnants of beaded netting around the edges.

The face is also beaded.  The eyes are interesting.  In order to create fine lines, the stitching changes from a 2-drop stitch to a single stitch.  There's some damage to the middle of the face.  If the threads are original in that area, it might be evidence for peyote stitch based on the direction of the continuous thread, but I suppose it could also be the result of an attempted repair for display.

In addition to the pictorial pieces, there was also a netted shroud.  I'd bet that this piece has been restrung, it's just too neat.

There were also beaded collars.  The drop beads are horizontally double-drilled.

As well as assorted necklaces and collections of beads.

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