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Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Shan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1885 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk; dye; hand-stitching; fringing; bands of ikat in plain weave interspersed with bands of supplementary weft; bands of interlocking tapestry weave; wide band of ikat

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.508-1919

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A rectangle formed with two identical panels hand stitched along the weft edge. One end with a knotted silk fringe.

The upper part has a thin check pattern in yellow, green and red on a warm terra-cotta ground. The lower part has many horizontal bands, broad and narrow, decorated with a great variety of geometrically-treated motives including fret, hook, dot, cloud and floral motives, chiefly in white, purple and shades of green, yellow and betel juice red.

Place of Origin

Shan (made)

Date

ca. 1885 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk; dye; hand-stitching; fringing; bands of ikat in plain weave interspersed with bands of supplementary weft; bands of interlocking tapestry weave; wide band of ikat

Dimensions

Width: 86.4 cm, Length: 202 cm

Object history note

Circ. 508 to 514 - 1919 formed part of the original purchase from General Wallace (the donor) of 13 Shan weft-ikat textiles for £52. They were returned to the department in 1979.

Historical context note

Eleanor Gaudoin, a descendant of the royal family of the Shan State of Hsenwi, on a visit to the V&A Indian Study Rooms in 1995, made the following comments:
"The roots of shan silk or silk/cotton weft-ikat cloths are to be found in the Lanna/Lao Thai territory of northern Thailand. Lana was a tribute nation to Burma for several centuries until its liberation in c.1780. There could have been a migration of weavers during that period. Otherwise weavers may have been brought back with the 90,000 Thai captives after the sack of Ayuthia in 1767.

The most well know of the weft-ikat patterns are:
zin-me (Chiangmai) and bangkok (a chevron design).

Weaving was done by women within specialist weaving families in the Inle Lake regiion. The skill and patterns, carefully guarded, passed on from mother to daughter.

An agent or `travelling salesman' would then take the finished cloth from court to court or wealthy homes. The silk weft-ikat would not be sold directly at the bazaars.

The cloths would be fashioned into longyi (tubular skirts). A black cotton waistband would be attached to the top. The longyi would be worn with white cotton cross-over jackets fastened with jewelled buttons.

Descriptive line

Shan silk longyi chiefly in white, purple and shades of green, yellow and red from Inle Lake, Shan States, Burma. Patterned with weft-ikat, supplementary weft and interlocking tapestry weave designs. c. 1885

Production Note

Transferred from the Department of Regional Services in 1979

Materials

Silk textile; Dye

Techniques

Hand-stitching; Weaving; Dyeing; Tie-dyeing

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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