Early Masterpiece Shawls of Kashmir

Plate Navigation


Plate Nine
Length: 43 1/2 inches
Width: 7 inches
Warp: 224 per inch
Weft: 192-224 per inch
Condition: fragment
Collection: formerly author; present whereabouts unknown


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This example dates from the early part of the Small Flower Period, the later border style firmly fixing it in place on the continuum and leaving no doubt about it not belonging to the earlier LCP. However the raw materials, dyes and design are all superb quality equaling those used in then. Typically the earliest SFP shawls have three rows of miniature plants and this example conforms to this detail. The plants themselves, however, are unusual, in fact extremely so for two major reasons.

First is their composite plant drawing style. All other SPF examples are sprigs and not actual plants with one or many, as is the case here, different flowers. Plate Nine was most probably created as an early revivalist version of the older and larger Classic Period composite plant form. By miniaturizing the size of the overall pattern, a less skilled and/or experienced weaver would have had an easier time re-creating it, yet still been able to capture the 'look'. If this were the rational then we would have to say it succeeded.