This was part of a pair of shawls along with (ZI2020.500788 EUROPE) at the Dr Joan Coleman Collection.
This square cinnamon brown (shawl) dating back to the first half of the 19th century was originally a part of the Dr Joan Coleman Collection. Later The Zay Initiative managed to acquire it from Kerry Taylor Auctions in 2020.
Dr Joan Coleman began collecting shawls in 1976 and developed her lifelong passion for collecting. She was a regular at the London salesrooms of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips – three of the most outstanding auction houses of the period in the world – getting to know the dealers and learning in the process. She acquired vast knowledge and dedicated hours carefully cataloguing her ever-growing collection. She intended to loan her collection to different museums and institutions for the benefit of learning and education. Her collection is one of the largest and the finest private shawl collections to have ever graced the world with shawls ranging from Kashmir, Paisley, Edinburgh, Norwich, France, and Iran.
This woollen square shawl woven (selvedge) to selvedge primarily over a cinnamon brown base has intricate decorative elements primarily in floral and (paisley)/(buta) motifs in different shades of brown-burnt sienna, raw umber-green, and beige. Probably woven in Edinburgh c. 1930-40 this piece was woven on a (jacquard) loom with three tiers or rather thick borders running all around the shawl.
The first border closest to the edge of the shawl is composed of a central wavy vine with a dense floral arrangement around it mostly in green and brown-burnt sienna. The next tier contains six large paisleys, three facing left and three right in a mirrored arrangement. This tier is the thickest one with the paisley elements appearing on all four sides. The (shikam) of each paisley is highlighted in beige and the (jaal) filling the space between each is decorated with a dense and intricate floral design. The third and final tier or frame has mostly foliage designs and motifs embellishing it.
The central body or (matan) of the piece has four large (kunjbuta) one at each corner. The base or (pai) of these buta are decorated with a dense floral arrangement in an almost heart-shaped pattern. The threads at both the (warp) end hang loose in a series of fringe giving the shawl its final touch.