Part of a pair of shawls with (ZI2021.500952.3 EUROPE).
This silk (shawl) dating back to the first quarter of the 19th century was originally a part of the Dr Joan Coleman Collection. It was part of a pair of shawls along with (ZI2021.500952.3 EUROPE) which is also a part of the Zay Initiative collection. Both of which The Zay Initiative managed to acquire from Kerry Taylor Auctions in 2021.
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 ever graced the world with shawls ranging from Kashmir, Paisley, Edinburgh, Norwich, France, and Iran.
This is an ivory silk (long_shawl) perhaps from Norwich c. 1810-15. This shawl has a plain body, a pair of narrow (hashiya), and two sets of thinner than usual (phala).
Woven with pink, light blue and olive-green wool, on a silk base the shawl displays two rows of (paisley)/(buta). The top row has a total of seven complete paisleys, while the bottom row has eight. Each paisley is placed under a floral arbour. The hashiya and the (tanjir) have similar designs and thickness. It is composed of a thick blue wavy vine interjected with a pink and ivory bloom alternately. The hashiya is attached to the central body of the shawl with the help of machine stitches. The loose threads of the (warp) ends are bunched and twilled to create a series of ribbed fringes that enhances its daintiness. There are quite a few signs of damage, especially along the (weft) end borders and edges that testify to its age and use.
With its fine hashiya and compact phala this is yet another very good example that testifies to the variety in dimensions of design distributions and styles that were prevalent for (kirking_shawl) of the period.
With high waistlines, flowing skirts, and (bodice) detailing pintucks and wide puff sleeves of women’s dresses in Great Britain long_shawl saw a surge in demand during this period. Shawls like this served as a perfect accessory for attaining a balanced silhouette. By the 1850s with the widening of skirts and (crinolines) frames, these shawls became even more popular as it was difficult to wear a jacket or a coat. This resulted in the inclusion of at least one such shawl in the wedding trousseau of every lady from the aristocracy thus giving rise to the term “kirking_shawl” especially in Scotland as they were worn to the kirk or church on the first Sunday after the wedding and then again at christenings of children.
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