Codex Book Cover With Boteh Motif
Artist/maker unknown, Indian or Pakistani
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The arts of Kashmir, a region in the Himalayan mountains that is now divided between India and Pakistan, have long been influenced by neighboring Islamic areas. Islamic books, like those of Europe, are formatted vertically with paper pages sewn into a binding. In contrast, traditional Indian books consist of loosely stacked horizontal pages. Book covers like this one would have protected sewn books. The floral designs in polychrome lacquer can be traced directly to Persia (modern Iran and parts of Central Asia). The paisley motif seen here was also common in the weaving of Kashmir (Cashmere) shawls, many of which were exported to Europe and the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.