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  • Place of origin:

    Shan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1885-1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plain woven and brocaded cotton and silk, silver paper thread and kidskin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Woman's skirt of black cotton diaper and plain black cotton with applied ornament in green and terra-cotta mercerised cotton, plain white cotton fabric of European weaving, panels of native hand-loom woven brocade of mixed silk and cotton, silvered paper thread, and wide and narrow strips of gilt-kidskin.

The skirt is straight and tubular. Round the lower part it has applique panels of terra-cotta cotton and green cotton separated by panels composed of white and coloured cottons, silver paper thread and strips of gilt kidskin in vertical stripe patterns in the lower half. Edging the latter panels and running the whole length of the lower skirt are broad strips of gilt goat-skin.

This would have been worn hitched to one side and with a dark Chinese bat-wing style jacket and a large turban.

Place of Origin

Shan (made)


ca. 1885-1920 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Plain woven and brocaded cotton and silk, silver paper thread and kidskin


Length: 97.5 cm, Width: 61 cm, Length: 38.5 in, Width: 28.5 in

Object history note

This skirt together with IM.154-1924 and IM.155-1924 were purchased from Rodway C J Swinhoe who helped to organise the Burmese Pavilion of the British Empire Exhibition (Wembley) 1924. (He was on the executive - see Rodgers RP 24/5707)
Swinhoe was in Mandalay from c. 1888 to 1927 (when he died) and was a well known member of the British Residents Group in Rangoon in the early 20th century."Father of the Mandalay Bar".
He is the Rodway Swinhoe mentioned in the preface of the "Lacquer Lady".

Historical context note

The North-eastern shans of Burma were what was generally known as Shan-tayoks or Chinese Shans and occupied the lands bordering the Chinese province of Yunnan.
Agriculture was their chief occupation. Buddhism was an important aspect of their lives and the first fruits of the crop were always taken as an offering to the village monastery before any is eaten by the household.

Descriptive line

Woman's skirt of plain woven and brocaded cotton and silk, Shan, ca. 1885-1920

Production Note



Cotton; Dye; Silk; Silvered paper thread; Kidskin


Weaving; Brocading; Dyeing; Stitching; Tanning; Metal-working


Textiles; Women's clothes


South & South East Asia Collection

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