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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Second half of 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
The inner border of fish bounded by wavy lines on this delicate kantha resembles a river surrounding a lush body of land. While the whole ground is quilted, the ground around these fish and that of the undulating outer border is quilted with colored thread to further accentuate the sense that the entire composition depicts a fluvial island. The central rectangular "island" itself shows a mass of seemingly arbitrary but actually well-balanced animals around a small five-pointed lotus. At each corner of this panel is a different type of tree. The embroider observed and depicted their distinctive characteristics, distinguishing the fanlike fronds of the toddy palm (upper left) from the long fronds of the areca nut palm (lower right)....

Object Details

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