[Detail view, 19th-century man's coat from Kashgar © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford]
The Great Game, in this case, is the historic late-1860s maneuvering between Russia and England to control Central Asia, and the clothes belong to the adventurous English traveler, Robert Shaw. Shown above is a detail of the ikat-dyed silk and cotton-lined coat Shaw received as a gift when visiting Kashgar (he was reportedly the first Englishman to travel there).
Fast forward more than a century. When Ruth Barnes served as Textile Curator at the Ashmolean in Oxford, England, she found an extraordinary undocumented collection of ikat coats; skillful sleuthing on her part traced the clothes back to Shaw. On May 19 at 10 a.m., Barnes will visit the de Young to talk about these opulently embroidered and dyed coats. General admission is $10; $5 for students.
[Image of Shaw's book, Visits to High Tartary, Yarkand and Kashgar, via iCollector]