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I would like to ask is there a embroidered swastika in the center of the application of this cloak? It is not clearly visible from the pictures that I've got!
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I would imagine it is, a not uncommon design. I've got a copy of the guidebook from there in my workshop so unless someone else confirms before then, I'll have a look when I go in tomorrow.
Sorry to hijack this thread, but are there any books (with good pictures) about late roman mosaics, like Piazza Armerina, Villa Tellaro etc.?
MOSAICI DI PIAZZA ARMERINA, Armando Cordaro Renato Incardona is the one I have, the other is in the workshop. There aren't that many, mostly it's sections in other books, what sort of thing were you after?
Here's the link to that book, it's only 9 euros and it's got some very clear pictures but rather small, 80 pages, 17cm x 24cm http://www.bonfirraroeditore.it/historic...etail.html
Thanks Lawrence, it is a good start!
I found an English version of that book in my local charity shop for £1.99. Imagine the odds of that. I have looked in Dorigo's Late Roman Painting and while the figure in question is represented, the detail is too small to pick out that central motif on the cloak.
It looks like the design is just a quincunx of five stones - albeit it could have been intended to represent something more elaborate:


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If one does a Google there are all the pictures you want of the VillaTellaro.
First of all we need to be aware that the mosaics are abstractions of the original patterns, dictated by the size of the individual mosaic stones in relation to the size of the figure. If you compare the patterns with surviving originals this becomes immediately clear. In the research on tunics I did so far I have gone through several hundred surviving orbiculi/tesserae/paragaudae/clavi. Although the swastika comes up as part of a running pattern I do not recall having seen one as a central, dominating, singular motif. Of course, as with all the other surviving artifacts, we only see a tiny snapshot of what was.
I think I'd agree with Nathan and Martin, you could squeeze the design a little and have enough room for a swastika so it looks like it was intended to be a quincunx.
Looking at the complexity of some designs on Late Roman tunics and cloaks there is little chance that they could be accurately reproduced in the medium of mosaic.

If you look at the basic pattern of a diamond within a circle that is probably the nearest you would get.

There is of course a swastika on a tunic elsewhere in the PA mosaics and another appears on a cloak in a fresco in Rome.

There are indeed quite large textile remains with swastikas within circles too but that is getting into dangerous territory for re-enactment! :whistle:

Graham.
Quote:There are indeed quite large textile remains with swastikas within circles too

Thanks for the information! I've been going through the wrong books then Sad - do you have a reference handy with larger, singular swastikas perhaps, Graham?
Catalogue of Coptic textiles from burying-grounds in Egypt vol1 has references to Swastikas on clothing...

"Portion of a Linen Cloth, faced with loops. Near one corner
is a large hooked cross (swastika) woven in purple woollen loops.
From Akhmim. 4th—5th century. Plate VI Acquired in 1886
Two large cloaks of looped material, with a large swastika in each comer, were found
at Antinoc in the grave of a certain Aurelius Colluthus, together with documents
dated A D.454, 455 and 456"

The other volumes:

Catalogue of textiles from burying-grounds in Egypt vol 2

Catalogue of textiles from burying-grounds in Egypt vol 3

The Victoria and Albert museum has a massive collection of textiles on line...
Back to the original question: IMHO it is 4 leaves of wine or hedera in a circular pattern. It has parallels in textile finds.
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