Paperback / softback
December 1, 2003
248 illus., 48 in color
11.00 Inches (US)
8.50 Inches (US)
1.78 Pounds (US)
$55.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Coptic Tapestry Albums and the Archaeologist of Antinoé, Albert Gayet

Vibrant tapestries of beribboned birds, cantering centaurs, and Dionysian dancers, woven in Coptic Egypt more than a thousand years ago, were artfully arranged in a handsome pair of albums in 1913. Some of the fabrics are shown in unique collage compositions. Sandals, spindles, and a mysterious lock of hair are assembled in a shallow box at the back of one album. Many textiles in this important collection, housed at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, were once joined by warp and weft with those from the Musée du Louvre and other major museums.

Nancy Hoskins deftly interweaves the creation of the textiles in the Greco-Roman city of Antinoé, Egypt, with their discovery by the charismatic French archaeologist Albert Gayet (1856-1916). Gayet staged stunning exhibitions of the pieces in Paris at the turn of the century and ultimately gave them to museums or sold them. One collector, Henry Bryon, had his 144 fabrics bound into the two albums featured here.

The album pages and covers are illustrated in glowing color, along with archival photographs from Gayet's expeditions. The style, structure, and iconography of each tapestry, tabby, and tablet-woven textile are discussed within the cultural construct of Late Antique and Early Christian Egypt. Detailed technical drawings illustrate the special weaving techniques of the Copts. Directions for six weaving projects inspired by the album fragments are included. The story of the inimitable Coptic tapestry albums will delight weavers, textile historians, art historians, and archaeologists.

About the Author

Nancy Arthur Hoskins, a former college weaving instructor, researched Coptic collections in over fifty museums around the world. She is the author of Universal Stitches for Weaving, Embroidery, and Other Fiber Arts and Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taqueté.


"The author's obvious love of her studies, her dedication to her field, and her expertise in presenting her findings will give readers great pleasure. Scholars of textiles, collectors, art historians, and weavers of all levels of experience will find this book very inspiring."—Handwoven

"Scholarly research and meticulous attention to detail mark this fascinating study of Coptic tapestries."—Complex Weavers Newsletter

"High-quality images of a wide range of Egyptian Coptic Tapestry fragments, scholarly yet readable insights, and clear diagramming of techniques make this book a beautiful and valuable resource."—Fiberarts


"Hoskins' documentation of this fascinating, if not unique, collection is thorough, well-researched and highly accessible..[She] paints a captivating and informative picture of this unusual collection and the person responsible for it.""—Textile Society of America

"Master weaver, scholarly detective, and sensitive connoisseur, Nancy Hoskins combines all these skills to describe and identify this unusually wide range of Egyptian Coptic textile fragments. Her descriptions of weaving techniques create a fundamental glossary of technical terms, which all who study textiles should use. The detailed data on each piece are a benchmark for all who work in the field."—Jere L. Bacharach, Director, American Research Center in Egypt

Skein Publications


9780295983745 : the-coptic-tapestry-albums-and-the-archaeologist-of-antinoe-albert-gayet-hoskins
Paperback / softback
$55.00 USD

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