Luxury on the Nile, Late Antique Attire from Egypt
Expensive, lavishly decorated clothes played an important role in the lives of those who could afford an extravagant lifestyle even in Late Antiquity, more than 1500 years ago. Most of those luxury garments that have survived come from Egypt, where the dry desert sand protected them against the ravages of time. Showcased in this special exhibition are some fine examples of exquisite late antique attire that stand out on account of the precious dyes and materials used to make them.
The Abegg-Stiftung's new special exhibition presents several tunics of the 5th-7th century that have been preserved in their entirety, including some impressively large ones woven in heavy wool. Contrasting with these is a child's tunic made of pale linen with decorative elements in red. This belongs to the Museum August kestner in Hanover and was entrusted to the Abegg-Stifting for conservation. The show will also feature numerous small woven panels that were once sewn onto tunics as decorative appliques. With their colourful ornaments and charming figural scenes, they offer vivd testimony of just how varied late antique luxury attire could be.