Exhibitions/ Art Object

Waist Cloth (Pha Nung)

late 18th century
Indian (Coromandel Coast, for Thai market)
Resist- and-mordant dyed, painted cotton
Overall: 128 x 39 1/2 in. (325.1 x 100.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Bequest of Samuel Eilenberg, by exchange, 2011
Accession Number:
Not on view
Waist cloth decorated with a triple-register end borders in red, black and yellow with flame-like projections (tumpals), and eight-pointed stars. The dominant centerfield consists of a tightly structured geometric grid filled with lotus motifs. The multiple end borders serve as a designator of high rank at the Thai court in the early Chakri Dynasty era, this cloth belongs to the reign of Rama I or Rama II. Indian painted cloths of this quality produced to Thai taste were in the 18th century still the monopoly of the crown, exercised through the Minster of Commerce. Such cloths were employed as gifts of favor at court, and as diplomatic presents, as well as traded to Japan and elsewhere.
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