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Antique Italian Textile, Silk Cut Velvet 15th Century

Stained Kina Shell Necklace | Southern Highlands, New Guinea | early 20th century

See the griffens, mythical creatures with the head of an eagle on the body of a lion? This fragment from an 11th-century Byzantine robe shows them embroidered on a delicate silk woven of murex-dyed threads. The symbolic power of murex purple reached its apogee in the eastern Roman empire of Byzantium.

Macedonian stockings via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art