Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Artist/maker unknown, Bengali

Geography:
Made in Faridpur District, Bangladesh, Asia

Date:
Second half of 19th century

Medium:
Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, buttonhole, darning, outline, satin, split, running, seed, fern, dot, and zigzag variation stitches

Dimensions:
29 x 30 inches (73.7 x 76.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1994-148-680

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Label:
Red, navy, and saffron threads intertwine in an unusual wide border of blossom and spiral roundels within a diagonal grid. Parrot-green threads enhance the vivid palette in the motifs around the central lotus-a swayback red horse with rider, green peacock perched on a blue elephant with bright red tusk, a knobby-kneed peacock, and a rainbow elephant with red rider. The human figures have distinctive triangular torsos, bulging hips, and muscular arms with pointed elbows. The animals are equally idiosyncratic; the elephants, for example, each sport a triple forehead bulge, as well as bent outer and straight inner legs with large toes. Corner trees with delicately undulating branches, several with roselike saffron-and-red flowers, complete this orderly and airy composition.

Additional information:
  • PublicationKantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal

    Red, navy, and saffron threads intertwine in a wide border of blossom and spiral roundels within a diagonal grid. Parrot-green threads enhance the vivid palette in the quartet of motifs around the central lotus--a swayback red horse with rider, green peacock perched on a blue elephant with bright red tusk, a knobby-kneed peacock, and a rainbow elephant with red rider. The human figures have distinctive triangular torsos, bulging hips, and muscular arms with pointed elbows. The animals are equally idiosyncratic; the elephants, for example, each sport a triple forehead bulge, as well as bent outer and straight inner legs with large toes. Corner trees with delicately undulating branches, several with roselike saffron-and-red flowers, complete this orderly and airy composition. Darielle Mason, from Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal (2009), p.202.