#7451 $395 SoldAssuit cloth shawl, 1920s
Assuit cloth is a cotton mesh fabric embroidered with hammered metal pieces. The metal is wrapped around the mesh; the ends are hammered under to hold the piece in place (designer staples :) Produced since biblical times, it is named for the Assuit region in Egypt.
Assuit shawls were popular souvenirs brought home by Americans who visited King Tut's tomb, opened for tourists in the early 20th century. The shawls are still produced today, but they do not have the substantial weight and quality of the 1920s version.
Our shawl features gold tone-covered copper pieces on a black cotton mesh ground. The design features a centripetal motif ("center-seeking.") Here the large center diamond shape is the focal point.
Abstract and semi-abstract designs are typically centripetal, centrifugal ("fleeing the center"), or balanced, i.e., without a pronounced tendency to either of the first two.
The borders on either side of the diamond feature rows of stick figures, camels, and houses. When King Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922, Egyptian-style motifs materialized in Paris fashion as "exotic" embellishment. What a delicious irony that today a smart fashionista can find the real thing in a fine Assuit shawl!
The condition is almost excellent. The slight oxidation does not spoil the appearance.
It measures 30" wide by 88" long.