Department of Eastern Art
  Newberry Textile Collection
  Percy E. Newberry. Passport photograph c. 1925. Griffith Institute, Oxford In 1941 the Egyptologist Percy E. Newberry (1869-1949) offered his large collection of Islamic, Indian, and Coptic textiles to the Ashmolean Museum, to be available for study purposes. He had collected the material while working in Egypt between 1890 and 1932, at a time when historical textiles were for sale in Cairo and Alexandria. No archaeological context is known for the mainly fragmentary material, but many of the pieces will have come from Fustat, the urban centre that predates the founding of Cairo in 969 AD.

Although similar textiles are found in other museums, Newberry brought together the largest and most varied collection, providing an unrivalled resource for the study of textiles and design. The Department of Eastern Art has more than 1200 Indian cotton textiles traded to Egypt and just over 1000 Islamic embroideries, mostly of medieval date. A small collection of 36 Coptic tapestry woven textiles are held in the Museum's Department of Antiquities.

Photo: P.E. Newberry. Passport photo. c. 1925.
Griffith Institute, Oxford
  Image of fragment EA1990.0236   Newberry Collection of Indian Textiles
 
Image of fragment EA1984.0129
  Newberry Collection of Islamic Textiles
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Last updated: 25/11/2005