ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

Permanent exhibition
of old textiles and works of art.
Temporary exhibition 2004

Address: Werner Abegg-Strasse 67
CH-3132 Riggisberg

regional transport from Berne or Thun to Toffen; postbus from Toffen to Abegg-Stiftung and back according to timetable.

tel: ++41 (0)31 808 12 01
fax: ++41 (0)31 808 12 00

daily slide show (20 minutes: 2.15 pm in German, 3 pm in French)

guided tours by prior arrangements
free for groups of 10 persons or more

opening hours:
daily 2 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.
25th April - 7th November 2004

entrance fees:
sFr. 5.- adults
accompanied children free
wheelchair access


Shuttle, Brush and Thread Ball

Late Antique Textiles from Egypt and their Production

25th April to 7th November 2004


see also:
Catalogue raisonné: Sabine Schrenk, Textilien des Mittelmeerraumes aus spätantiker bis frühislamischer Zeit, with english translation of the introducing texts, ISBN 3-905014-24-6, price CHF 280 + postage

  Press release:
This year's special exhibition in the Abegg-Stiftung presents astonishingly well-preserved and colourful textiles from Egypt that are between 1'200 and 1'800years old.

The decorations on these textiles, in particular afford us a wealth of insights into the craft skills of the time.

The exhibition shows large painted hangings, advanced silk fabrics with playful patterns, and tapestries - some of which were meant for everyday use, while others are most sumptuous and must have been very rare.

The brush, shuttle and ball of thread were among the most important utensils in textile production. They stand for the different techniques represented in the exhibition.


  Most of the large wall hangings were tapestry weavings. They reveal the luxurious décor of rich town houses and rural villas. The mythological figures and personifications of classicism were still popular depictions in late antiquity.

Many textiles were not fully patterned buit had defined pattern areas. The threads that formed the pattern were mainly applied here by hand using a ball of thread, in other words they were woven in the tapestry technique. Thread was made of wool, linen and silk and was sometimes even wrapped in very thin gold foil.

The tunic, the most common garment of the time, was largely unpatterned but had a strict system of decorations, which were usually woven together with the rest of the fabric. The tunic was bound into the loom or frame, as shown here, and was woven from sleeve to sleeve.



home content Last revised 23 April, 2004 For further information contact Anne Wanner