Part of a set of two along with (ZI2021.500952.1 EUROPE).
This blue 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 duo of shawls along with (ZI2021.500952.1 EUROPE). 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 ever graced the world with shawls ranging from Kashmir, Paisley, Edinburgh, Norwich, France, and Iran.
This is a woven rectangular silk shawl with a royal blue base and polychromatic woollen embellishment. Probably woven in Paisley c. 1825 -1835, this shawl originated in a (draw_loom).
The shawl has four tiers of the frame forming a thick border with an empty central field or body except the four tilted (kunjbuta)/(paisley) in a hedge of foliage at the corners. The outermost tier along the edge of the shawl consists of a line of floral repeats in scarlet red and beige. The second tier is a (jaal) of dense floral arrangements mostly in scarlet, blue and green, with a star-shaped floral motif repeated in alternate orientation at regular intervals.
The third tier is the thickest of the lot and consists of a row of paisley/(buta) with stylized curved and thick vines for a jaal between them. This entire arrangement is in a myriad of colours – scarlet, blue, green, and yellow with ivory highlights. The final tier is composed of two sprigs of foliage with a flower in between repeating itself in a row. Both the floral and foliage motifs are woven in scarlet with beige highlights while the branches are woven in green.
The kunjbuta are resting on a (pai) mostly composed of foliage in green with sprigs of flowers on either side woven in scarlet and ivory. Each paisley motif itself is composed of four different layers of floral arrangements in different colours. The first and the third layers consist of scarlet flowers and encase a yellow layer in between themselves. The final layer forming the (shikam) of each paisley is composed of blue and scarlet flowers on an ivory bed.
The borders of the shawl have been separately woven before attaching them to the main body by means of a machine stitch. They are of the same dimensions all around, however, the (warp) ends of the shawl have a strip of the base fabric with loose hanging threads forming a series of fringes attached to the borders, thus giving this shawl its final touch.
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