This extremely fine example of double Ikat is an heirloom piece of one of the two surviving Patola weaving families in Patan.
It is an heirloom fragment piece - about quarter sari - that has been with them for over 10 generations. I was told at the time of acquisition that this sari is over 500 years old.
Such claims are as hard to prove as they are to disprove so I reserve my comment on this dating.
But it is worth noting that the features seen in this piece certainly conform to the idea that this is a few generations old.
The value of a Patan Patola is directly proportional to the diversity of motifs used in it as this increases the difficulty of creating the artwork.
This fragment has
- the paan bhaath or leaf motif
- the vaurani or bride motif
- the popat or parrot motifs,
- the phool or flower motif and
- the haathi or elephant motif
- several border motifs
- the pallo or the end panel which in the case of the Gujarati style of wearing falls over the right shoulder at the front.
- note that the flower motifs on the palloo end panel are in a direction that is perpendicular to that of the motifs in the field. This fact poses a unique challenge in double ikat
- AND zari in the pallo that probably has some precious metal content.
Microscopic examination of the fibres [see photo] and the weave reveal a uniqueness not found in other more recent antique patolas.
Mounted on a raw silk backing for support. Will make a fabulous wall hanging.
Uncomparable ancestral heirloom piece. Rare.
Examples of younger Patolas may be seen
1. On pages 14 & 27 in 'Indian Textiles' by John Gillow & Nicholas Bernard
2. Page 42-49, "Tradition and beyond, Handcrafted Indian Textiles" by Rta Kapur Chishti / Rahul Jain
Approx 130 cm height x 125 cm width on raw silk mounting.
Several holes & loosened threads and spots of distress all over. Needs pure tender loving care to survive for another hundred years. Mounted on raw silk backing.
MY NOTES: Patolas are rare but to find one from the weaver's heirloom treasure chest THAT HAS ZARI is a matter of fortune! Such pieces will rarely ever come up for sale.
The other quarter (that did not contain the gorgeous end pallu with zari) was acquired by another discerning art collector.