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Hanging

  • Place of origin:

    Mandalay (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1980 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    U Sein, Myint (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered velvet, backed with cotton, appliquéd, padded, silver-gilt sequins, gold and wool threads, pearl, glass beads

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr. Deborah Swallow

  • Museum number:

    IS.50-1990

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

At the centre of this fine small Burmese pictorial textile hanging known as a kalaga is a chinthe or Burmese guardian lion, padded to achieve a three dimensional effect. Worked on a ground of black velvet, the fur of the chinthe is rendered in silver gilt sequins. Green and red wool thread is used for its mane, tail and the long fur on its legs. It is further decorated with pearls and gold thread.

This is an example of the late 20th-century revival in the art of making kalagas, and was produced by the Mandalay master craftsman U Sein Myint in about 1980. Such kalagas are favourite tourist purchases and are increasingly exported.

Physical description

Hanging (kalaga) of embroidered black velvet and backed with black cotton. With embroidery and appliqué. On a dark ground a chinthe forms the centre piece, and is padded to achieve a three dimensional effect. Silver-gilt sequins are arranged to represent its fur. Green and red wool thread are used to depict its mane and tail as well as the long fur on its legs. It is further decorated with pearls and gold thread.

Two narrow borders (1.5 cm each), of a bead and stripe design made of silver spangles and yellow and brown wool twisted with gilt thread, flank the main border (3.7 cm). A leafy scroll pattern interspersed with flower heads is worked with cords of brown, black and gold threads. The borders of the innermost section (2.8 cm) encompass a leafy design at the corners. They are worked with glass beads, cord of brown wool and gilt thread, gilt rick-rack, cord of purple wool and silver thread and silver sequins.

Place of Origin

Mandalay (made)

Date

ca. 1980 (made)

Artist/maker

U Sein, Myint (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered velvet, backed with cotton, appliquéd, padded, silver-gilt sequins, gold and wool threads, pearl, glass beads

Dimensions

Length: 43 cm, Width: 42 cm

Object history note

Given to Debbie Swallow by the Ambassador to London U Tin Tun.

A fine small embroidered Burmese kalaga (hanging) of black velvet with an applique design of a chinthe' within multiple foliate borders. Created with coloured cloth and threads, silver threads and sequins and imitation pearls.

Historical context note

Example of kalagas made by a master craftsman working in Mandalay in the 1990's.

Descriptive line

Hanging (kalaga) of embroidered velvet and backed with cotton, made by Myint U Sein, Mandalay, ca. 1980

Materials

Velvet; Cotton; Silver-gilt sequins; Wool; Pearls; Gold thread; Cording

Techniques

Weaving; Applique; Embroidery; Metal-working

Subjects depicted

Chinthe'

Categories

Textiles; Wall coverings; Embroidery

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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