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Boar Silk

Kazar Bazar

Boar’s Head Silk pattern reconstruction

Pattern is usable for VII-IXth century reconstructions

Pattern reproduction:
105 cm width material
21 cm pattern repeat

Stock: Out of stock
Not Rated


Boar’s head pattern are a really popular motif in the Early Medieval. We are able to find it in several sources: pattern woven silk fragments, embroidements, wall frescos and stone carvings. The motif likely comes form Central Asia. It deifnately reached Europe as well. We have evidence for the motif was used of decorating a pottery in Avar context.

As Friedrich Spuhler, author of Pre-Islamic Carpets and Textiles from Eastern Lands mentions:

“The head of a wild boar with its menacing tusks was a highly prized trophy; it is therefore plausible that it could have been associated with royalty and is often used as a motif on pricely garments.”

Other theory connects the boar with Bahram a.k.a. Verethranga, the Old Iranian god of victory. According to the Encyclopedia Iranica:

“Boar figures are widespread in Sasanian art and occur in stucco and on silver, textiles, and seals. … It has been argued that this figure represents Bahrām in his most ferocious aspect, for in this form he accompanies Mithra in Yašt 10.70; and in his own Yašt 14.15 his strength as a powerful attacking boar is well emphasized.”

The base of our reconstruction is the fragment from MET museum:

Silk fragnemt with boar’s heads
Central Asia
Silk Samite
Source: Friedrich Spuhler: Pre-Islamic Carpets and Textiles from Eastern Lands

VIIth or early VIIIth century
Hanging fragment with boar head
Tapestry weave: wool and linen. 20.7X25.2 cm
The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund, 1950.509.
Source: Louise W. Mackie: Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th–21st Century (Cleveland Museum of Art). 2015

VIIth century
Textile with Boar’s Head Roundels
Iran, Afghanistan or China (Xinjiang Autonomous Region)
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

V-VIth century
Embroidered fragment with boear’s heads
Central Asia
Silk, embroidered
21,5×40 cm
Chain-stitch on two layers of fabric: fine silk upper layer and coarse silklower layer
C14 dating: Kiel, CE 465 ±25 (one sigma range: CE 558-605, 68,3%; two sigma range CE 542-635, 95.4%)
Reported from Samangan Province, northern Afganistan
Hali 146, 2006, p. 64
Inv. no. LNS 1175 T

Source of picture and text: Friedrich Spuhler: Pre-Islamic Carpets and Textiles from Eastern Lands

VIIIth century
Painted pottery find from an Avar grave. 
Hungary, Székkutas-Kápolnadűlő Grave 90.
The pottery is painted with white and black paint. The dots are previously marked with a drawing compass.
Source: B. Nagy Katalin:  A székkutas-kápolnadűlői avar temető. A Móra Ferenc Múzeum Évkönyve: Monographia Archeologica 1. (Szeged, 2003)

Reconstruction of the avar mug by Gölöncsér Nóra and the Boar’s Head Silk

VIIth century
Ambassador on the Afrasiab wall painting
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

VIIth century
Garment of an oarsman with boar’s head motif.

Relief-carving on the left wall of the Taller Grotto, Taq-i Bustan, Iran. 
Source of picture and text: Friedrich Spuhler: Pre-Islamic Carpets and Textiles from Eastern Lands

Project requested by: Nadeem AhmadEran ud Turan
Grapical design: Szakonyi Balázs


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