Handkerchief

ca.1710-1720 (made)
Handkerchief thumbnail 1
Handkerchief thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41
Place Of Origin

Handkerchiefs like this one with small scenes (vignettes) in the centre were popular in France in the 18th century. This one shows a scene from la Fontaine's fable 'The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses'. The lion sits on a high-backed chair at the left of the scene, with the monkey on the ground before him and the two asses to the right. The corner elements and the border, some of which is missing on all four sides, are also in a French style.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Mordant and resist dyed cotton (chintz)
Brief Description
Handkerchief of painted and dyed cotton (chintz), made on the Coromandel Coast, c. 1710-1720; Textiles; Accessories
Physical Description
A square handkerchief of painted and dyed cotton (chintz). The central octagon contains a depiction of a scene from La Fontaine's fable 'The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses'. The lion sits, crowned, upon a throne under two trees; in front of him is the monkey; the two asses are on the right.



Outside the central compartment are scattered a number of floral sprigs; in the corners are vases of flower, on stands with feet terminating in scroll-like foliations.



The borders have large scrolling designs of fleurs-de-lis floral devices and foliage, on the last of which small owls are perched.
Dimensions
  • Height: 115.5cm
  • Width: 117cm
  • Length: 45in
  • Width: 45in
Gallery Label
  • HANDKERCHIEF Cotton, mordant- and resist-dyed Coromandel Coast for the French market c. 1720 Coromandel Coast chintz was produced through a process of drawing and dyeing by hand. The adaptability of this technique meant European designs and motifs could be easily imitated. The central scene on this fragment is from Jean de La Fontaine’s fable of ‘The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses’. The border motifs are in the style of engravings by French designer Jean Berain (1640-1711).(01/08/2017)
  • Handkerchief or centre of a palampore Painted and dyed cotton Coromandel Coast, under French patronage First half of 18th century The central vignette is a scene by an unidentified artist illustrating La Fontaine's fable 'The Lion, the Monkey and the two Asses'. The border, now cropped and incomplete, is in the style of engravings by Jean Berain (1638-1711). The textile retains traces of quilting and its original function is uncertain. T 173-1921(26/11/1990-25/11/2002)
Subjects depicted
Literary Referencela Fontaine's fable 'The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses'
Summary
Handkerchiefs like this one with small scenes (vignettes) in the centre were popular in France in the 18th century. This one shows a scene from la Fontaine's fable 'The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses'. The lion sits on a high-backed chair at the left of the scene, with the monkey on the ground before him and the two asses to the right. The corner elements and the border, some of which is missing on all four sides, are also in a French style.
Bibliographic References
  • Irwin, John and Katherine Brett, Origins of Chintz, London, 1970. With a catalogue of Indo-European cotton-paintings in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ISBN 112900534.p. 108, cat. no. 110, pl. 94
  • Crill, Rosemary, Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West, London, 2008.Plate 49, p. 98
Collection
Accession Number
T.173-1921

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 23, 2006
Record URL