This silk fragment portrays tulips woven in gold-wrapped thread. The floral bouquets repeat in alternating directions and appear geometric with the linearity of their petals, leaves, and crossing stems.
This textile probably originated in Sicily, an area long fought over by Christian and Islamic empires. Native to Central Asia, tulips were a popular motif for Sicilian merchants and weavers under the Ottoman Empire in the 1600s. The broad lines of these flowers resemble Kufic script, another marker of deep Islamic influence in the region.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an identical fragment in their collection.