Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Arab headdress

  • Description

    The basic Arab male dress is a long, white shirt thob, sometimes embroidered at the neck. Wealthy men wear a second robe zebun over it. The headcloth is held down with a heavy decorative rope aqal, here made of gold thread wound around a silk core.

    This outfit [EA1965.176, LI077.2., and LI077.3.] belonged to T.E. Lawrence and was probably worn by him while with the Arab army 1916-1918. He worked closely with Emir Faisal (later King Faisal of Iraq) during the Arab Revolt (1916-18), and on his suggestion, adopted Arab dress:

    I was...[fitted out]…in splendid white silk and golden-embroidered wedding garments which had been sent to Faisal lately (was it a hint?) by his great-aunt in Mecca. (T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom Ch.XX)

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia Arabian Peninsula (north) (place of creation)
    Associated people
    T.E. Lawrence (1888 - 1935) (recipient)
    Material and technique
    silk, with gold thread with a silk core
    cloth 77 cm approx., max. (length)
    headpiece tassel 45 cm approx. (length)
    cloth tassels 25 cm approx. (length)
    headpiece tubes 15 cm approx. (length)
    headpiece 23 cm (diameter)
    Material index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Lent by All Souls College, University of Oxford.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Wilson, J. M., T. E. Lawrence "Lawrence of Arabia": Set of Slides with a Commentary and Biographical Notes by J. M. Wilson (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1976), cat. slide 4 on pp. 17-20, p. 24, illus. slide 4


    • Lower ground floor | Room 5 | Textiles

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