Beam towel
© ASTRA National Museum Complex Sibiu
Material/ Technique: hemp, weaved in 2 shedding harnesses, embroidered, hemmed, dyed in natural colours (the threads used for embroidery)
Size: 70 x 50 cm

Ethnical group: Saxon
Region: Brateiu village, Sibiu county, Transylvania
Period of time: The 3rd quarter of the 19th century, dated:1866
Utility: Beam towel with decorative purpose, used until the beginning of the 19th century; it was arranged on the bean above the display bed

Description: Rectangle shaped weaving, adornments arranged horizontally; Motifs: anthropomorphous: (horseman- a knight wearing his armour, with helmet and a pipe, holding in his right hand the hunting hawk); zoomorphic (horse); vegetal (the “tree of life” represented by 2 stylized carnations). In the right upper corner appear the characters: MS and the year 1866.

Economic sector: Worked in household;
On the nowadays Romanian market this kind of object can be found at prices between 100-300 in the antique shops. Unfortunatelly the beam towel lost its use at the beginning of the 20th century. Only the motifs are stil used on the decorative towels from muslin that can be found also today in the Saxon houses. The interest in acquiring these items is very low, having now only decorative purpose. Buyers can be found among the specialists, museums or private collectors. Nowadays there are about 10 craftsmen in Romania that embroider similar items.

Source: Textile Collection (Inventory No. 1925 T/15402 B), Emil Sigerus Saxon Ethnography Museum. ASTRA National Museum Complex Sibiu