Chintz curtain

Indian Subcontinent, probably Coromandel Coast region, for the European market

Not on view

Painted cotton "chintz" was exported to western Europe in large quantities starting in the second half of the 17th century. Due to the perception that these textiles were damaging the domestic industries, both Britain and France banned them from domestic use for most of the eighteenth century. However, in the case of the British East India Company, re-export to Continental Europe, West Africa or and the Americas was legal. Despite the restrictions, some chintz furnishings and garments from Western Europe clearly made it past customs officials. This curtain, one of four surviving, was most likely part of a set of bed furnishings. The design of undulating ribbon-like forms and stylized flowers clearly related to European woven silks of the 1720s, a style now referred to as "lace-patterned" silks. The colors are remarkably well-preserved, especially the green, which is most often faded to grey-blue due to the fugitive nature of the yellow dyes used to create the shade of green.

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