Sari (Baluchar Butidar)

Woven by Dubraj Das, Indian, died c. 1900

Geography:
Made in Bahadurpur, Murshidabad District, West Bengal, India, Asia

Date:
Late 19th century

Medium:
Silk plain weave with silk brocading wefts

Dimensions:
15 feet × 47 1/2 inches (457.2 × 120.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1960-116-2

Credit Line:
Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1960

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The tradition of weaving Baluchar Butidar saris originated in the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad District, West Bengal, during the eighteenth century. It soon spread to nearby towns, spurred by the patronage of the upper classes. Production of these fine silk garments continued into the nineteenth century, declining only around 1900 with the death of Dubraj Das, the area's best known master weaver. Woven on a traditional drawloom, the central field was usually covered with rows of buti, a paisley motif, from which their descriptive name, butidar, derives. Their anchals (end pieces), as seen in the two examples displayed here, are decorated with scenes of urban elite at leisure.

This sari woven by Dubraj Das is adorned with dandies seated at a richly set table.

Additional information:
  • PublicationThe Fine Art of Textiles

    This sari is signed by Dubraj Das of Bahadarpu, the last master weaver from the town of Baluchar, who died in 1903. The Museum owns eleven complete and several fragmentary saris of this type. Dilys E. Blum, from The Fine Art of Textiles: The Collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), p. 147.