This red square woollen (Shawl) dating back to the mid-19th century was originally a part of a trio of shawls in the Dr Joan Coleman Collection alongside (ZI2020.500779 EUROPE) and (ZI2020.500780 EUROPE). 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 square woollen Shawl was produced in Paisley, Scotland between c. 1840-1850. It is woven (Selvedge) to Selvedge in a red (Madder) base, with woven patterns in (Burnt_Umber) and beige.
The centre of the Shawl is decorated with a combination of floral bouquets and (Fleur_de_lis) arranged into a snowflake-like pattern. This is followed by a wide area of plain Madder base which has protrusions of thistle branches created by a combination of thin (Paisley)/(Buta) arranged back-to-back overlapping one another.
The floral and Paisley motifs arranged in a dense fashion around the edges form a thick border and are extremely intricate. The use of beige – a light hue – next to the dark hue of Burnt_Umber over a red base creates an illusion of gold highlight from afar. The Shawl is finished with tasselled fringes from the loose ends of the base fabric on two (Warp) ends.
The several holes on the body of the Shawl along with extensive darning of about 82 cm of a possible rip on the border bear testament to its age and wear.