Lovely figurative Amli Embroidery on a square shawl
Such shawls were often created as a gifts to rulers and influential people in the 1800s.
ABOUT THE DETAILS
Figures contain: peacocks with their full plumage, men, women & animals.
There are with their well-attired elephants and horses with their riders.
In the arabesque and boteh forms we see pairs of people facing each other, men with women or men with soldiers.
Little blue & purple? animals (deer perhaps) roam about in the outer border constrained to their arches.
And the white horses add to the now-faded palette.
The only motif that I do not have the slightest context to interpret is the angel or man with wings. There are 4 of these angles, each attired uniquely and laid close to the central circle.
ABOUT THE OVERALL SHAWL DESIGN
Looking at the complete shawl, the artistic layout is perfectly coordinated and aesthetically very appealing. The framework within which the elements have been placed is built around the central floral medallion. Surrounding this is a ring of 8 pairs of long botehs facing each other, and adjacent botehs separated by arabesque medallions that are bridged to each other. The corners have their own beautiful medallions that extend into beautiful lingering vines. And within these all these botehs and arabesque medallions, the angels, humans, animals and birds have been placed according to a pleasing logic. The time that went into planning the art in this piece probably outdoes the time spent in the craft in the piece.
There is some thread loss - particularly on the faces of all the humans & angels possibly as a finer quality of silk must have been used in these spot. Probably held the place of pride in the decor of some well-lit room, that has resulted in even fading. Also has repairs. Faded.
From the mid 1800s
Acquired from a prominent dealer in the US.
5'6" x 5'7" (167 x 170 cm)
Old Figurative Kashmir Silk Embroidered Amli Shawl