About this artwork
This complete towel entered the collection in 1899. The design is formed of addorsed and confronted animals specifically to be identified as wyverns. According to The Oxford English Dictionary a wyvern is a “chimerla animal imagined as a winged dragon with two feet like those an an eagle, and a serpent-like barbed tail”. It is the same animal which one also finds, however, with its wings spread, in the lower part of the Borghese coat-of-arms. Towels of this kind can be found in Early Renaissance paintings and manuscript pages where they were used either as table covers or as overtowels.
- Currently Off View
- Made 1401–1500
- Linen, bands of weft-float faced diamond twill weave; weft-faced, warp-ribbed plain weave with supplementary patterning wefts
- 231.6 × 58.15 cm (91 3/16 × 22 7/8 in.)
- Gift of the Antiquarian Society