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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Late 19th or early 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
The maker of this kantha gloried in depicting modern life. In the upper right, a woman stands within a grand residence detailed with gas sconces and arched louvers. In the upper left, she or another woman sits surrounded by mostly aquatic creatures in a square representing a ghat (stepped riverbank platform). In the lower section appear two steam-driven vehicles-a train and a peacock-prowed pleasure boat (the latter usually propelled by oars). At bottom, an elaborate market scene includes a merchant who weighs a woman's purchases on a scale. In contrast to the usual sari draped over the head, the women here wear long-sleeved blouses, separate head-coverings, and long necklaces that resemble the outfits seen in the hill region of northern Bengal....

Object Details

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