Early Masterpiece Shawls of Kashmir

Plate Navigation


Length: 48 inch
Width: 48 inch
Warp: 196 per inch
Weft: 156 per inch
Collection: formerly author; present whereabouts unknown


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In Europe and America shawls were worn by women but in Kashmir, India, Persia and Turkey the shawl was first a man's wearing garment. Of these long shawls far outnumbered square ones and according to all the information now available the long shawl appears to be the earlier size as well. There are some pre-1800 square shawls and all of them have the same overall pattern - a central medallion and quarter medallions in the corners. Known as chand-dar in India/Kashmir they are called moon-shawls in Europe and America. Plate Thirteen is one of these and, in fact, one of the earliest.

The use of only a single generic small flower as the sole field motif and the quality of materials support this assessment. The unidentifiable flowers within the medallions demonstrate the loss of realism typical for shawls made post-1775 in the mid-Small Flower Period. Another chand-dar's medallion (fig.39) provides the prototype for Plate Thirteen's, as this shawl's far more naturalistic drawing is undoubtedly the prototype. It is also earlier circa 1750.