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Not currently on display at the V&A

kongnak

Tunic
1800-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The asymmetric neck and shoulder decoration on this woman's tunic is composed of bands of patterned red and gold silk from India. Each strip was carefully teased into an arc shape as it was sewn onto the tunic. The section forming the collar is evenly gathered. This effect was achieved by inserting stiffeners secured by rows of stitching. The configuration of this applied decoration denotes that the wearer was a married woman. There are no fastenings to this tunic; the inflexible nature of the ruched neck prevents it from falling open.

The tunic came into the Museum as part of a set with a magenta pink coat, green trousers, red waistcoat, scarlet leather leggings, a tasselled hat and silver and coral plait decorations. George Sherriff (1898-1967), the renowned plant hunter who donated them to the Museum, recorded that he acquired them in Khotan, a town in today's Xinjiang Region of China. The likelihood is that the original wearer was from an ethnic group that today would be categorized as 'Uighur'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Embroidered figured silk, applied with brocaded silk
Brief Description
Woman's tunic (kongnak), embroidered silk damask, Khotan (modern Hetian/Hotan), Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, 1800-1900
Physical Description
Woman's tunic (kongnak), of floral polychrome silk embroidered blue figured silk with strips of pattern woven red and gold silk. Hem and sleeve-ends have stylised wave pattern.
Dimensions
  • Height: 122cm
  • Width: 244cm
Style
Gallery Label
    Credit line
    Given by Captain George Sherriff
    Object history
    Registered File number 1898/1932.
    Production
    From the Khotan region (modern Hetian/Hotan)
    Subjects depicted
    Summary
    The asymmetric neck and shoulder decoration on this woman's tunic is composed of bands of patterned red and gold silk from India. Each strip was carefully teased into an arc shape as it was sewn onto the tunic. The section forming the collar is evenly gathered. This effect was achieved by inserting stiffeners secured by rows of stitching. The configuration of this applied decoration denotes that the wearer was a married woman. There are no fastenings to this tunic; the inflexible nature of the ruched neck prevents it from falling open.



    The tunic came into the Museum as part of a set with a magenta pink coat, green trousers, red waistcoat, scarlet leather leggings, a tasselled hat and silver and coral plait decorations. George Sherriff (1898-1967), the renowned plant hunter who donated them to the Museum, recorded that he acquired them in Khotan, a town in today's Xinjiang Region of China. The likelihood is that the original wearer was from an ethnic group that today would be categorized as 'Uighur'.
    Bibliographic References
    • Crill, R., Wearden, J. & Wilson, V., Dress in Detail from around the world (London: V&A Publications, 2002), pp.28-29
    • Ward, Amada. 'Gifts from Xinjiang', in Orientations, August, 1988, Fig. 5, pp. 18-22.
    Collection
    Accession Number
    T.31C-1932

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    record createdFebruary 17, 2009
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