Diminutive Rabat Embroidery
Rabat, a city that started as a small Phoenician outpost in 3rd century B.C., grew into the cosmopolitan capital of Morocco through a history immigration and shifting power. That history, particularly the influx of Andalusian refugees in the 17th century, had a substantial impact on the textile traditions of the city. Much of the embroidery Rabat is now known for comes from Andalusian traditions and from Rabati embroiderers adapting their own designs from 18th and 19th century European styles.
Rabat style is easily identifiable by the freehand and exuberant floral patterns that are executed in a variety of long stitches, buttonhole and herringbone among them. Old Rabat embroideries are not reversible but later ones are. You can find Rabat embroidery on curtains, kaftans, bed ornaments, tablecloths and chest covers. This tiny, reversible and tightly designed piece was most likely a table runner.
Circa: First half 20th c
Origin: Rabat, Morocco
Dimensions: 29" (including tassels) x 8"
Inventory number: TX5032