Exhibitions/ Art Object

Patolu with Elephant Design

late 18th century
India (Gujarat) for the Indonesian market
Silk double-ikat (resist dyed)
Overall: 43 x 182 in. (109.2 x 462.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
Not on view
A patolu is a silk textile with a design produced by a skillful, time-consuming process of pre-dyeing the patterns into both the warp and the weft threads so that the intended composition is revealed only after the two are woven together. This majestic textile depicts a royal parade with two pairs of elephants, each carrying attendants holding fly whisks, drivers, and crowned dignitaries. Standard-bearers, soldiers with lances, and soldiers on horses and camels accompany the procession. Patola played an important role in the Dutch effort to secure trading privileges in the Maluku spice trade, as these precious Indian-made silks were used as prestige gifts for local Indonesian rulers.
Private collection, United States , from 1990s; sold 2012 to Murray ; [ Thomas Murray , Mill Valley, CA, until 2012; sold to MMA]
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