This richly embellished man’s jacket was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli from Kerry Taylor Auction, London in 2021 to be added to The Zay Initiative Collection.
This is a black woollen felt jacket (sherwani) for men with heavy embellishments done with gold and silver metal wired threads. With a raised collar featuring heavy bullion work involving gold and silver sequins and threads in floral patterns.
The jacket has a front opening with two large, tilted (paisley)/(buta) motifs mirroring one another and encasing a medium-sized floral vase flanked by two floral bouquets on each side near the hem.
Near the hip, it has two pockets hemmed with gold and silver metal thread (couching) embroidery featuring floral arrangements and four (fleur_de_lis) on four sides.
The hemline has a thick border all over consisting of four tiers. The first and the third tiers have three lines each of simple couching embroidered lines alternating between gold and silver.
The second tier has an intricate floral (jaal) arrangement of a repeated floral motif alternately inverted with foliage in between. This is also executed with gold and silver metal threads held with a bright orange silk floss thread in couching style embroidery.
The final tier is a repeat of a heart-shaped motif alternately inverted also executed with gold and silver couching.
A similar border is also reflected on the cuffs. The sleeves feature a large leaf near the shoulder splitting into two medium-sized paisley interconnected with wreath like branches. This gives way to a smaller leaf pattern which further splits into two smaller paisley which finally gives way to a medium size leaf near the cuff and is flanked by smaller size leaves and small floral bouquets with a paisley base.
The hem of the placket and the neckline has a gold and silver thread crocheted lace trimming with orange silk floss thread highlighted knots. The back of the jacket is almost plain except for the same design on the sleeves that originated from the shoulder and is reflected on a larger scale on the top part starting from the nape and extending to the middle.
The sherwani has two long slits on two sides and broad linings around the cuffs, shoulders, and hems in a rich (crimson) red satin fabric. The seams of the sherwani are inlayed with a thin line of gold and silver thread embroidered in a herringbone style which ends with a tiny, inverted club motif.
It closely resembles the (daglah) jackets from the Arabian Peninsula traditionally worn by men of status such as tribal leaders and kings in the early 19th century. It is usually worn over the tunic (dishdashah) during the winter months. Early photographic evidence shows various woven versions depicting (paisley / buta) motifs worn by the rulers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia as well as Kuwait. Recently, King Charles III was photographed wearing a daglah.