This red (Paisley_shawl) dating back to the first quarter of the 19th century was originally a part of the Dr Joan Coleman Collection. It was first purchased at an auction at Christie’s, London in 1976. Later The Zay Initiative managed to acquire it 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 to have ever graced the world with shawls ranging from Kashmir, Paisley, Edinburgh, Norwich, France, and Iran.
This scarlet red rectangular shawl woven in a blend of silk and wool was probably made in Paisley c. 1830s. Although identified as a square shawl by its previous owner, Kerry Taylor, later measurements prove that it is indeed rectangular in shape with its width just 2 cm shy of its length. This almost unnoticeable difference produces an illusion of a square shape.
The entire body of the shawl is filled with repeats of an angular floral sprig in (turquoise)/(pheroza), black, and olive green. Each corner of the shawl is embellished with a quadrant filled with angular (paisley)/(buta) motifs in green, black, and turquoise with beige highlights. A thick border running around the edge of the piece is also composed of similar floral design elements. Repeats of a floral motif in beige and red alternately arranged in a thin black line runs along the thick border on both top and bottom.
Its (selvedge) to selvedge weave testifies to its (jacquard) origin with its (weft) ends flaunting a series of loose hanging threads as fringes.
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