[A Large South Indian Printed Cotton Palampore, Second Half of the 18th century, via Christie's.]
Maybe I'm typically the odd person in the waiting room who brought Hali as an alternative to Us Weekly, but for textile geeks like me, it's really fun to peruse the former's international auction news and read all about some stellar suzani or Chinese lion-dog (aka 'fo-dog') rug that grabbed the attention of collectors. In the spring 2010 issue, the magazine reports on an "impressively monumental" Coromandel Coast palampore (a bed cover or wall hanging) from Christie's October 2009 Ismail Merchant Collection sale.
I'm guessing this small image doesn't quite do it justice. What struck me was Hali's description:
"...huge blowsy flowers, some almost too heavy for their illogically delicate branches -- one is deeply bowed under the weight of a gigantic rose..." The roots are "octopus-like," the border is characterized by an undulating main stem, and the disproportionately large flowers are said to be associated with the 'Dutch taste' (Hali sites Rosemary Crill, Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West, p. 50). While the palampore is damaged, the fact that it was owned by filmaker Ismail Merchant, of the duo Merchant/Ivory, and before him by Count Trolle Bonde, added luster.
[Anna Sui Fashion in Motion, the V &A.]
If you happened to be reading this blog back in '06, you might remember this image from Anna Sui's spring 2000 collection inspired in part by the V&A’s collections of 18th-century Indian palampores, Chinese export silks, and Liberty of London paisleys.
[India, Bed or Wall Hanging with Design of Flowering Tree (Palampore), late 17th-early 18th century, Needlework, Silk thread embroidery on cotton. LACMA.]
For a little more inspiration, check out LACMA's online exhibition, Luxury Textiles East and West: India.
[DwellStudio's take on a timless bird and branch motif. Detail view.]
Her talk is part of SCAD Style week 2010. Click here for all the latest on events happening simultaneously at both SCAD Savannah and Atlanta campuses, now through May 6.