Motif from Kashmir Shawl: Color Zunga (Verdigris Color), No. 24, By Order of Mahummud Azeem Khan, Russia

Anonymous, Indian, 19th century Indian

Not on view

One of group of eight textile designs made in Kashmir and sent to England in 1823 by British trader, William Moorcroft for use in the shawl making industry. These textile designs are the only surviving from a group of 34 drawings he sent, as part of his personal interesr in making British shawls supreme over all competitors. They are all painted on paper in brilliant colored gouache and varnished. Each shows a large stylized Paisley "cone" set in a field and are signed on the verso "William Moorcroft, Kashmeer, 1823", numbered, inscribed with the color of the ground in Kashmiri vernacular, and, on all but two, with the name and country of the person who commissioned the original shawl. In England, they would have been translated to graph paper to create mise-en-cartes for the guidance of a weaver.

This design, titled "Zunga [ verdigris color]", contains a large paisley "cone" made up of several layers of strips of stylized flowers and leaves, colored with shades of green and red. The lower part of the cone is made up of scrolling branches, colored with red, with small green leaves and tiny yellow rosettes, from which emeres a smaller paisley motif that decorates the center of the design, containing a thin bundle of green leaves and small flowers with petals colored with shades of gray, purple and white, and framed by a stripe containing a bundle of tiny leaves and flowers colored with shades of gray on a red ground, and two layers of scale-shaped stylized leaves, the first colored with red and decorated with a tiny rosette with purple petals, and the outer one colored with black and containing a rosette with white petals and three small green leaves, and surrounded by a garland of large s-curved purple leaves and small stylized flowers with red and purple petals. The paisley cone is outlined with green, and the design outside the cone is made up of scrolling red branches with large stylized leaves, some of them colored with red and containing tiny black rosettes, and others with the shape of a paisley made up of a smaller paisley shape, colored with purple and filled with small green palmettes surrounded by black leaves with tiny white flowers flanked by green leaves.

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