Rare 19th Century Indian Sainchi Bagh Phulkari
Embroidered Silk on Cotton. 140 x 220 cm (55 x 86 inches)
This is a rare 19th Century Indian Sainchi Phulkari from east Punjab, superbly crafted from embroidered silk on hand-spun loomed cotton. It was acquired from a renowned antique textile dealer in Jaipur in the late 1980s and is in excellent condition.
Sainchi Phulkari are beautifully embroidered wraps made by and for a family member as a head covering or shawl for a special occasion such as a birth or marriage. When the embroidery work covers the whole surface, as in this superb example, the shawl is called a bagh, or garden, and may take as long as a year to complete.
Phulkari ceased to be made by the 1950s and examples such as this are considered important and historic social documents for their depiction of 19th century village life, and local interests and sights. This wonderful Sainchi Phulkari is embroidered with numerous motifs including a stylized train, bridal jewellery, and children playing a street game. There are people going about their daily work, carrying water pots on their head, and riding camels and elephants. Other animals include goats, big cats, peacocks, roosters and lizards.
This highly collectable, rare, and beautiful antique textile would look wonderful displayed as a wall hanging or drape, or perhaps mounted in a frame. Of all our textiles this is perhaps our favourite, and we are saddened that we no longer have space in our home to display it.