Not currently on display at the V&A

Ceremonial Cloth

ca. 1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This multi-purpose ceremonial cloth is a 'chaksi pangkheb', meaning 'hand wash lap cover'. Its primary purpose, as its name suggests, was to cover the laps of high-ranking people during hand washing. This cloth was given to the diplomat Sir Charles Bell by the first king of Bhutan, whom he met during the 1903/04 British expedition to Tibet.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Embroidered cotton in silk and cotton
Brief Description
Ceremonial cloth (chaksi pangkheb) of embroidered cotton in silk and cotton, Bhutan, ca. 1900
Physical Description
Ceremonial multi-purpose cloth (chaksi pangkheb) of embroidered cotton in silk and cotton. Strong white cotton cloth bordered by two similar narrower strips with woven and embroidered ornament. The main pattern is embroidered entirely in red silk and indigo blue cotton in darn stitch. It resembles a sari and is in three lengths sewn together. The main pattern is formed by broad and narrow horizontal bands of geometric motives, chiefly the star, diamond and triangle, repeated or combined together. The warps are continued at each end and twisted to form a string fringe.
Dimensions
  • Width: 95cm
  • Length: 259cm
  • Excluding fringe length: 104in
  • Width: 38in
Credit line
Given by Sir C. A. Bell KCIE, CMG
Object history
Given by the king of Bhutan to Sir Charles Bell and possibly one of the pangkheb mentioned in letters itemising gifts sent to Bell in 1915. Given to the V&A by Sir A C Bell, K.C.I.E., C.M.G. in 1933.
Subject depicted
Summary
This multi-purpose ceremonial cloth is a 'chaksi pangkheb', meaning 'hand wash lap cover'. Its primary purpose, as its name suggests, was to cover the laps of high-ranking people during hand washing. This cloth was given to the diplomat Sir Charles Bell by the first king of Bhutan, whom he met during the 1903/04 British expedition to Tibet.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Myers D.K, and Bean S., From the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Textile Arts of Bhutan, London, 1994, pp, 131, 230.
Collection
Accession Number
IM.21-1933

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record createdSeptember 22, 2004
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