Annunciation Silk

8th-9th century
Weft-faced compound twill (samit) in polychrome silk
Vatican Museums, Vatican City (61231)

Following the pattern most common in the first millenium, Mary sits on a jeweled throne-like chair as the angel addresses her with his right hand raised. On the right front pillar of her chair is a basket, referencing the purple thread she was spinning, according to the legends, when Gabriel arrived. The large spindle-shaped object on the left may also have to do with her work on the thread.

More of the Annunciation

Source: Website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art