Fragment of silk textile with gold thread
Spain, probably Almería
Museum no. 796-1893
This fragment of a rich silk woven with gold thread comes from the large cope in which the body of Prince Felipe of Castile (1231-74) was wrapped. It was recovered from his tomb in the church of Santa María at Villalcázar de Sirga (near Burgos). Felipe was the brother of Alfonso X of Castile (reigned 1252-84), but rebelled against him and sought refuge in Granada, at the court of the Nasrid sultan Muhammad I (reigned 1237-73). It is likely that Felipe was given this brocaded textile as a gift during his stay. It was so prized by him that it was used to dress him in splendour for the afterlife. The inscription in the wide lower border repeats the word 'barakah' , 'blessing'.