Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing antique zari saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi,
This shalu – a zari woven wedding sari that is 9 yards long – is from the trousseasu of the erstwhile (and last) queen of Sawantwadi.
As in all saris, it is the end that hangs from the shoulder that receives the most attention – from the maker, the wearer and the beholder.
This pallu is completely filled with a geometric motifs woven in thread with precious metal content or “real” zari.
But the ‘never-have-I-ever-seen” feature here is the overlay of paintings on the zari.
There are 5 superbly handpainted portraits that are so good they look like prints!
How this was done… which artist did this – whose idea was it …. all these facts are lost in time. But the stunning product of their creativity remains!
A few photos taken with a phone camera under poor lighting conditions…. but am grateful they allowed photography!
This unknown museum has only a handful of old items – and the premises are not fancily maintained.
But it has this ONE treasure, and that makes it a terrific museum in my opinion.
The building, the lighting, the curators, the rest of the taam-jhaam (as we say in Hindi) are all good to have – but in the end it is the object that makes the museum!
This will probably be my last exciting textile seen in 2017!