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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

First half of 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
An encircled lotus and orthogonal corner trees anchor this airy composition. Motifs include pack animals and common ritual implements used for puja (Hindu prayers) in Bengali temples and homes. Above the red horse at bottom is an oblong kosha, a shallow vessel used to hold holy water and floral offerings. The embroiderer has depicted it from above, as seen by the worshiper to reveal the floating blossoms and leaves. Perpendicular to its tip is the similarly shaped but smaller kushi (in red), used to sprinkle the water. Above the black elephant at top appears a delicate, pointed red spiral that represents a shankha (conch shell), another common puja implement that is echoed in the shankhalata (conch shell vine motif) border and the elements of the central lotus....

Object Details

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