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Sion Wall-hanging

Key data

Upper Italy, 2nd half of 14th century

Linen printed with woodblocks

Dyes containing lampblack and red chalk

H 106 cm x W 264 cm

Inv. 1897.48.


Scholars began discussing the “Sion Wall-hanging" – as this large fragment of a wall-hanging from Sion in Canton Wallis came to be known – as early as 1857. As one of the best examples of 14th-century textile printing, it features in numerous publications. Yet it still poses a number of unanswered questions. The original repeat has still not been decoded and the other fragments in existence – in the museums in Zurich, Berne, Geneva and Lausanne - are too small to be of any help. The top register shows a row of dancing men and women, the middle register Christian knights going into battle against Oriental archers, and the bottom register some rather curious, surtitled scenes from the Oedipus saga.

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Basel Historical Museum
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CH – 4001 Basel

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