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Ikat from Gujarat, India, Indonesia

063 India, Gujarat


Origin: India, Gujarat
Locale: Patan region.
Period: 1750-1800
Yarn: Silk, hand-spun
Technique: Double ikat
Panels: 1
Size: 104 x 451 cm (3' 4" x 14' 9")
Design: Considered the most important and spectacular of the 40 odd patola designs, the 'elephant patolu' depicts a royal parade with four caparisoned elephants, riding warriors, charioteers, camels, leopards, birds, attendants holding up standards and bearing vessels. Buehler and Fischer in The Patola of Gujarat classified this design as motif type 21.
Comment: Acquired in Weiwerang, Adonara, from the Rajah of Terong. He called this cloth by the Lamaholot term ketipa gajah. Note that patola usually constituted communal lineage wealth, but on Adonara they were the private property of local rulers. Buehler in 1979 refers to only six other specimens of type 21 known in the world. A few more have surfaced since. Each one has slight design variations, mainly relating to different types of flower motifs - this example has motif type 21b. One of the three or four finest of the perhaps ten elephant patola extant.
Background: Additional information in chapters on India and Gujarat.
Exhibited: Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 2014/15.
Published: Peter ten Hoopen, Woven Languages, 2014, HALI 181/2014, Orientations Vol. 46/2014
Compare: 061 062
Literature: Buehler and Fischer, The Patola of Gujarat, Vol II, Plate XIV. Nearly identical to piece in Metropolitan Museum of Art, No. 2012.164, though ours is in much better condition, and Boston Museum of Fine Arts, No. 1985.709. Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam also has a fine specimen, part of Tillman collection, Coll. no. 1772-1503. See A Passion for Indonesian Art, Fig. XII. A slightly different version with more black , in fine condition, is in the Art Institute of Chicago, Nr. 2002.905, published in Khan-Majlis, The Art of Indonesian Textiles. The British Museum has another variant, with numerous fairly large holes and rips. See also Guari Parimoo Krishnan, The Divine Within pages 218/219.
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