Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Socks

18th century - mid 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Pair of men's ankle socks hand-knitted in fine coloured wools. The pattern on the front of the foot is formed by horizontal rows of geometrical floral devices in brown, grey and green on a yellow ground. The short leg has a band of rosettes and crosses in the same colours as the foot, between two narrower bands of red flowerets and green crosses on white grounds. The soles have a diamond diaper in the same colours as the front of the socks. With repeating sprig in beige and light blue with black stems and leaves creating a trellis effect.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Man's Sock
  • Man's Sock
Materials and techniques
'Afghan' or 'Tunsian' crochet
Brief description
Pair of men's socks, pashmina worked in 'Afghan' or 'Tunisian' crochet, probably Kashmir, 18th century to early 19th century. Formerly in the collection of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Physical description
Pair of men's ankle socks hand-knitted in fine coloured wools. The pattern on the front of the foot is formed by horizontal rows of geometrical floral devices in brown, grey and green on a yellow ground. The short leg has a band of rosettes and crosses in the same colours as the foot, between two narrower bands of red flowerets and green crosses on white grounds. The soles have a diamond diaper in the same colours as the front of the socks. With repeating sprig in beige and light blue with black stems and leaves creating a trellis effect.
Dimensions
  • Length: 27cm
  • Length: 10.25in
  • At opening width: 4.625in
Object history
Purchased from the dealer Nasli Heeramaneck in 1926. The registered papers for this purchase include the following description written by Stanley Clarke, Keeper of the Indian Section in 1926:

- 4 Pairs of men's gloves
- 3 Pairs of men's socks

Fine wool knitted in several colours. Purchased in Haidarabad, Deccan. Kashmir; early 18th century. Late Mogul style and period

Director -

For sanction to purchase @ £15 (fifteen pounds) the rare examples of Kashmiri (Mogul) early 18th century hand coverings and foot coverings for men (four pairs of gloves and three pairs of socks) described on the Purchase Form. They were discovered some years ago in the wardrobe-storage (Tosha-khana) of H.H. the Nizam of Haidarabad, and were probably made in Srinagar, Kashmir, for the City of Haidarabad during the reign of the Nizam Asaf Jah (1713-1748) of Turkoman descent, who had previously served under the Delhi emperor Aurangzib. The above, woven with sprig, floral-trellis, flower-scroll and other patterns in fine coloured wools, are extraordinary examples of the Kashmiri loom-work knitting of the Mogul period [...]

Note. The experts of the Royal School of Art Needlework, as well as Miss Preece and Mr Culin (Brooklyn Museum), after careful examination, consider that all of the above are knitted, and that the finely (closely) worked examples have required a special hooked needle of the crochet-hook order.
Associated objects
Bibliographic reference
Skelton, Robert, et al, The Indian Heritage. Court life and Arts under Mughal Rule London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982 p. 102, cat. no. 292
Collection
Accession number
IM.148&A-1926

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Record createdJune 25, 2009
Record URL
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