This beautiful pink woven silk (shawl) dating back to the early-19th century was originally a part of the Dr Joan Coleman Collection (purchased at Christie’s, London, on July 28, 1977), and 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 rectangular piece is woven in silk of pink base and embellished in a variety of other colours.
It has a thin border running along the edges of the (selvedge). The (warp) ends flaunt a broad (phala) on each side. It constitutes of eight (buta) or (paisleys) each of them composed of an elaborate combination of floral motifs arranged in (palmette) and bouquet patterns. The outermost segment of each buta is composed of green palmette and the (shikam) or the core is composed of a bouquet of flowers in various sizes and colours on an ivory base. Each buta is separately bracketed by curved floral column-like branches.
The (tanjir) and the (hashiya) are composed of floral arrangements alternating in red and blue along an undulating central branch. The body is repeated with sprigs of foliage and flowers on a zigzag stem.
The body of the piece is woven with several coloured silk threads while the borders are woven in wool and hand stitched to the piece.