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Not currently on display at the V&A

Handkerchief

ca. 1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Printed handkerchiefs like this were a major export item from Bengal to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. This type, with floral print on a tussar silk ground, is close to other types of printed tussar textiles such as saris made in the textile centre of Berhampur. The major export for trade goods like the handkerchief was nearby Kasimbazar, a name that became almost synonymous with Bengali export piecegoods.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed silk
Brief Description
Printed silk handkerchief, brownish with red and black floral design, Bengal, ca. 1850
Physical Description
Squarish silk handkerchief of brownish tussar silk, block-printed in red and black with a floral design.
Dimensions
  • Top edge width: 755mm
  • Bottom edge width: 768mm
  • Proper right length: 900mm
  • Proper left length: 894mm
  • Weighed on roller weight: 10kg
Gallery Label
BENGAL HANDKERCHIEFS Traders exported handkerchiefs made in Bengal to Europe and North America. Printed silk choppas (from Hindi chhapna: 'to print') were hugely popular, as were tie-dyed silk bandannoes (from Hindi bandhana: 'to tie'), the origin of the modern bandanna handkerchief. Fine Bengali cottons were also used for handkerchiefs, sometimes with mottos or names woven into their borders. Length of bandannoe handkerchiefs Tie-dyed silk Berhampur, West Bengal, 1830-80 V&A: 18.678-1883 Choppa handkerchief Printed silk Kasimbazar, West Bengal, 1820-50 V&A: 18.17-2008 Personalised handkerchief Cotton with silk borders, woven with the name and titles of Colonel T.H. Hendley Santipur, West Bengal, 1898-1903 Given by Mrs G.M. Hendley V&A: 1S.218-1992 (03/10/2015 - 10/01/2016)
Production
Probably made in Berhampur
Summary
Printed handkerchiefs like this were a major export item from Bengal to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. This type, with floral print on a tussar silk ground, is close to other types of printed tussar textiles such as saris made in the textile centre of Berhampur. The major export for trade goods like the handkerchief was nearby Kasimbazar, a name that became almost synonymous with Bengali export piecegoods.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.17-2008

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record createdAugust 20, 2008
Record URL