Silk: embroidery, cross-stitch
Overall: 150 x 218.4 cm (59 1/16 x 86 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1412
Prestigious men’s surcoats embellished with designs such as this dramatic decoration in cross-stitch were among the most elaborate silk-thread embroidered garments in Central Asia. In a flamboyant style, large palmettes framed by split palmette leaves dominate with quartered rosettes and smaller flora on a brilliant yellow ground. Foliate vines enhance the edge along the front center opening, hemline, and cuffs. It is lined with an ikat of cypress trees and finger-looped trim. The style and technique represent professional work from Shahr-i Sabz, south of Samarkand. The pattern was drawn on the cotton ground cloth of the surcoat, then disassembled for stitching, and finally reassembled—revealed by severed and misaligned motifs plus mismatched colors.
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