The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

WHO are these MEN?

Fascinating to find five men lurking in a soumac rug fragment….. Here they are! Am assuming they are men because of the hair. The lower half is mermaidesque … am … Continue reading

October 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Little Temples in Gold – Majapahit Gold Rings

Pramabanan Temples. On a  visit in 2016 I did not do it justice to the experience. At many levels. Just one day at the heritage site. A visit scheduled during … Continue reading

September 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Animal Love

We all love our animals! The Qashqai weaver put hers in her rug while I had a few sweet moments with a sheep & a goat in my lap! See … Continue reading

August 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Sumba Queen’s Gift

The joy of the day is a Sumba Queen’s gift to her daughter And to all of us in the textile-art world. For here we are enjoying her creation from … Continue reading

June 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Girl with the Dragon

Can you spot her? . . . . . Isn’t she lovely? See more of this gorgeous not-for-sale antique dragon sumac rug here on WOVENSOULS – asset 1379. *** jm … Continue reading

May 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

An Auction to Watch – Maharajahs & Mughal Magnificence at Christie’s

Described as “Living History in your hands” the jewels of Indian monarchs are from a different world! A watch-only auction for me… I am curious to find out how much … Continue reading

April 25, 2019 · 1 Comment

Hybrid Art – 3 -Manuscript Paintings

A few weeks ago the surprise of hybrid paintings had already stung me when I saw a  Hindu manuscript with illuminated paintings scripted in Gurmukhi. (Link to Gallery Store) My … Continue reading

April 9, 2019 · 1 Comment

Wearing her mother’s Bridal Haalvan Phulkari

A “haalvan” phulkari is done on very fine cotton cloth that is similar to mul mul. This is the first time I held one in my hand! All bridal textiles … Continue reading

January 30, 2019 · 2 Comments

Boats of Eastern India, 1800s – Company School Paintings

Seen on an auction site, these paintings give us a glimpse of the lifestyle of those times. To pursue the characters that lived these lives, watch the Netflix original series … Continue reading

January 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Bless the Kohistani Creator!

“Gulposh kabhi itraaye kahin Mehke to nazar aa jaaye kahin” Only the brilliant A. R. Rahman’s lyrics are appropriate for this outstanding masterpiece from Kohistan. “A flower may try to … Continue reading

January 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

There’s an Elephant on my Sofa!

And a horse!!! 😊 Beginning the day with a smile and a reminder of the beauty our hands can create! See more of Asset 1143 on wovensouls.com

November 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day

A Peacock takes a little ram for a walk! What an endearing example of folk creativity! Seen in this most-beloved AntiqueQashqai Shekarlu rug that I cannot get enough of! More … Continue reading

October 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Raincoats of the Fortunate – Bhutan Textiles

Destinies differ between individuals. And between people groups. In the plate of destiny granted to me, raincoats were made of plastic. In the plate of the fortunate, raincoats were works … Continue reading

August 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

External Article – Ramayan of Rani Laxmi of Jhansi

  An article about  art, culture and history! The monumental work sold for just over GBP200000! https://www.christies.com/features/5-mins-with-Ramayana-9234-1.aspx The sum probably does not reflect the historical value!     jm  

August 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Man and His Dowry

In many parts of North Africa, at the time of the proposal the families discuss the dowry the man is willing to pay to get his bride. The dowry is … Continue reading

August 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Beauty of The Checkerboard

Checkerboards are simple forms. Not much creativity needed to create these basic geometric forms. It could even be said that checkerboard motifs are born during one’s lazier creative moments. But … Continue reading

July 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Made in 3 Places – Batik Tiga Negeri

In the world of modern mass production – the only world young people in their twenties (in my world) know – the concept of getting clothes made does not exist. … Continue reading

July 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Vanished

When things vanish it feels bad. When cultures vanish it feels worse. Here is a Yao Shaman’s manuscript that came to me about 2 years ago. About 4 months ago, … Continue reading

July 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Fierce Deities!

A character that is not pleasant or all goody-goody has an appeal that is perhaps stronger! The glimpse of something fiesty, something temperamental, something strong with overtones of bold confidence … Continue reading

July 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Along came a Ganjifa Set…

And took my sleep away! Why are these little artworks so attractive? Or elusive? A complete set consisting of 120 cards is very very rare! The odd card is seen … Continue reading

June 25, 2018 · 1 Comment

Before the Blue Jeans came along…

My world seemed mighty impressed with the concept of ‘blue jeans’ when they came along in the 1970s. Everyone had to have a pair. But before that, much much before … Continue reading

June 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Rare Art of Double Sided Shia Embroidery

It is said that this art is no longer practiced. I am told they come from the Swat valley neighborhood and since there are not enough such textiles these are … Continue reading

June 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Catching Butterflies in Burslem 

As a collector one is supposed to have focus and collect a particular category of objects.  But as the child (that none of us completely outgrow) (i hope) I enjoyed … Continue reading

June 4, 2018 · 3 Comments

The Grace of a Burmese Fan

Could it be said that Art reflects the character of the people? This is most certainly true in the case of Burmese Art! The immense grace in the flowing lines … Continue reading

June 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Monastery Art

First, the altitude in the Himalayas makes me breathless and then the paintings in the monasteries take my breath away! Each monastery has so much to offer the vision that … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wearing Art – Antique Himalayan Ceremonial Silver Belt

When everything the eye sees is artistic and pleasing, where art is an intrinsic part of every object, there must be undercurrents of joy constantly hitting the people…  Maybe THAT … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix: Kilim ON the Sofa! 

Looking good?  Antique Sarkoy kilim now adding color to the sofa!  Jm April 2018

April 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Painting of a Weaver – 1800s

Some art to refresh the soul!

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beshir Rug with Ikat Motif

A simple little work of textile art getting its time in the morning sun! This little piece was most probably woven by Beshir nomads in Turkmenistan. With a good exchange … Continue reading

March 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Material Pleasures

When I was young I desired a million things but had no money to buy them with. Now when I am old, I have more money but very few things … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix: Men with an extra Arm?

Or is it a stick?  Maybe they are the sons of the weaver!  Interesting motif on an antique Kazak rug. 

March 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Antique Kalamkari Art

A fabulous 17th C Kalamkari Artwork!

February 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Jehangir Spinel

Owned and bequeathed by Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb this amazing Spinel is now in the  Victoria & Albert museum in London. Surprisingly it has been described by the V&A … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – from Gujarat again!

Late 14th–early 15th century printed textile – Gujarat! Met Museum https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/72747 Celebrate Gujarat!! Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more exquisite antique textiles and more on

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Silken flowers from Gujarat India 

One more fabulous piece from Gujarat! At first I thought it was a print … until I read the explanatory note! ❤️ This textile is from the V & A … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Soldiers in Silk – Guns & Roses

This mesmerising silk Amli embroidery on a square pashmina shawl is from the 1800s and depicts soldiers circling around a thriving establishment. Note the deliberately highlighted flowers (roses?) amidst the … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – An Antique Robe with Amli Embroidery

Works such as these remind us of the value added simply by the skill of an artist! The wool and the silk and the scissors could have made a robe … Continue reading

February 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Textile Art of Gujarat – AGAIN! 

I might be accused of bias as Gujarat is my home state – but since I am not the only one to be smitten by Gujarat I might be absolved … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Weight of Commitment 

The weight of this token of commitment is about 100grams. Of Gold. !!! In case you are underwhelmed … here is a similar piece displayed in the V & A … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sunbathing in Goa

The beauties get their annual sunbath!  ❤️

January 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

Crowning Glory of a Turban with Double Sided Embroidery

The absolutely mind-boggling craft of double sided embroidery on a turban! Maybe this will be one step forward in eradicating the gender bias… in a century or so maybe all … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

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 … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

On My Coffee Table 

The advantage of my nomadic life is that I forget tbe pieces strewn around the other spaces that I dwell in (and that dwell inside me….).  and so I see … Continue reading

December 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Blessing Containers in Silver

How many people have others praying for them? Am certain that I have fewer today than I had 50 years ago. And so as these blessings become rarer, I value … Continue reading

December 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

Walking the Dog

And the bird in the cage. Scene in a double sided embroidery from the early 1900s.  But could well have been a snapshot from modern day Singapore!  More photos of … Continue reading

November 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Art of War – Motifs in an Embroidery

Surely Sun Zhu meant THIS arr?  More photos coming soon on WOVENSOULS.com

November 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Art of Africa

Of course Africa is too large to be clubbed into one art group … But that made a nice title … The Art of the Yoruba caught my eye recently. … Continue reading

October 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

What lies within? Copper Manuscript

Found in Odisha, it is said to be a Buddhist Mahayana mansucript in Pali script hand-handhammered into copper plates. Imagine the trouble that went into creating this …. Similar examples … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Negative Spaces

“Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject … Continue reading

September 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Custodians of Antique Art

“We are only the ‘temporary’ custodians of these antique artworks that lived before us and will live on much after we are gone.” A nice quote to remind myself of … Continue reading

September 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

Hidden Gems – new sightings in old acquisitions! 

In an embroidery rich in texture and motifs and age, it was easy to miss the 5th color used sparingly – it hid within the flowers – almost shy of … Continue reading

September 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who doesn’t enjoy Music in the Park! 

MUSIC IN THE PARK – Notes in Silk!!! Just received this beauty made in Canton a century ago! Am yet to count the number of instruments being played  in this … Continue reading

September 12, 2017 · 2 Comments

Courtship in Silk

Daily Art Fix – motif on an amazing wearable antique cantonese shawl!  ❤️

September 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

Science & Art in the Tibetan Astrological Calendar Sidpaho

Predicting the future and fortunes of an individual based on the movement of the planets across the reference matrix of the constellations, presupposes knowledge of astronomy. With very few instruments … Continue reading

August 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Gift for the Emperor!

A gift for the Emperor ….depicted in silk in the late 1800s. So delicious …. Feasting on the art is so soul satisfying! sigh!    

August 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Beaded Textiles from Rajasthan?!! 

Just noticed the fabulous beadwork on a shawl from Rajasthan that I’ve had for awhile.  Endless delights in old acquisitions…   All from the WOVENSOULS collection!  ❤️

August 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Treasure Hunting

Excerpts from an article seen on the internet*: Forrest Fenn, an art dealer and a former Air Force fighter pilot, announced in a self-published 2010 memoir, “The Thrill of the … Continue reading

August 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

Happy Sunday from a Majampahit Prince & Princess

This beautiful Majampahit Prince & his Princess wish us all a royal Sunday – May we all have a wealthy Sunday with our hearts full and our minds free! And … Continue reading

July 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

From One Nomad to Another

These lovely motifs from a nomadic tent band now decorate my life  And they say material things cannot make one happy!?! Am finding that a great way to start the … Continue reading

June 27, 2017 · 2 Comments

A New Museum to explore

One more window to the history of art & culture. One more state museums – and from my experience, state museums in India are absolutely fantastic!! They go into the … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Kammavaca Art – Buddhist Manuscripts from Myanmar

Exploring the art in Ancient Buddhist manuscripts

June 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

ANNOUNCEMENT: Auction of Antique Phulkaris

Auction of rare exquisite Antique Phulkari Bagh Shawls collected from India in the 1960s-1970s and now in the wovensouls collection. Follow the link to view these pieces: http://stores.ebay.com/WOVENSOULS Ends on … Continue reading

May 10, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Cheriyal Painted Scroll – Art for Oral Traditions

In  South Indian Paintings  – A catalogue of the British Museum collection, A. L. Dallaiccola notes  “Although in the past the majority of Indian people might have been illiterate, they … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

Old Silver Opium Hafeem Box – Available for Sale

Available for Sale: Old Silver Opium Box

January 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

Iron (Wo)Man

Just another work of art in iron! How long did it take to make? How much effort? No idea. But a hundred years later in 2016, we are still enjoying … Continue reading

January 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Way We Were – II

Photos of an exhibition of photos from negatives in the archives of Souza & Paul – the oldest photo studio in Goa, presented at the fabulous Serendipoty Arts Festival 2016. … Continue reading

December 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

Wood Art from Ancient China 

An attempted burglary resulted in a forced movement of our furniture. These pieces had been tucked away in a place that I visited with high frequency but low attention-depth. Every … Continue reading

September 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Motifs from Africa – Fulani Blanket – Available for Sale

The bad news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. The good news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – A Sublime Tampan with an Amazing Soul!

Such an amazing work of art!!! Not painted – not embroidered but WOVEN!! More from the same fragment:     And though it is past its prime, it still is … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the Met Museum

A new exhibition featuring manuscript paintings (and therefore textiles in paintings) and textiles exploring medieval Islamic textiles in the 20th Century titled Transformed: Medieval Syrian and Iranian Art in the … Continue reading

March 17, 2016 · 1 Comment

Welcome to The Art Blog

“The purpose of art is washing off the dust of daily life off our souls” – Pablo Picasso

Presenting my notes on the diverse folk arts of Asia and the stimulating cultural stories contained within them – Jaina Mishra

To shop online visit

http://WOVENSOULS.COM

March 16, 2016 · 3 Comments

Picking a Bone …

Picking a bone …. Not exactly any bone. But a Kapala bone. A bone from the skull of a deceased Buddhist Lamaji. Under the assumption that his wisdom and powers … Continue reading

March 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Mother’s Labor of Love – Kohistani Baby’s Cap

In other places mothers-to-be and grandmas-to-be knit booties and mittens for the expected new arrivals. In Kohistan they make a cap. Such amazing work can only be born as a … Continue reading

February 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Precious Package for a Precious Bundle – Dayak Baby Carrier

One more precious carrier for a precious baby! Over a dozen types of trade beads, some extremely fine, some multicolored, some from one of the 3 groups of mutisalah beads, … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – Caravans & Herders

More textiles, more meaning! Here are some created by a Bishnoi group from Rajasthan India. These motifs that tell us about their lives through their portrayal of the cultural elements … Continue reading

November 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

INVITATION – Antique Indian Textile Art @ The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

BAZAR: SAT & SUN 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th November 4pm-8pm A mini-exhibition will showcase some textile masterpieces from the past. Some pieces from the wovensouls collection will also be available … Continue reading

November 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Mochi or Cobbler Embroidery of Gujarat

Anyone who knows Gujarati or Hindi knows that Mochi means a cobbler. So when I first heard my dealer say that a category of very fine embroidery is known as … Continue reading

November 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Embroidered Door Curtains of Morocco

Moroccan Door Curtains of the 19th Century – Art in daily living! Until an hour ago, I did not know such things existed! And to think that some of the … Continue reading

November 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Journey to Assam along a ‘Vrindavani Vastra’

It is said that if you cross the Brahmaputra river once, you will return again to cross it a total of seven times. I’ve done 3 and as I try … Continue reading

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – A Thousand Silent Bells

Heavy Silent Jhanjhar from Maharashtra, Early 1900s The latest addition to the Wovensouls collection Read more about Payal Traditions here. jm Oct 2015.

October 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Dowry Bags & Purses

A link to the Dowry Bags & Purses of Gujarat, India. jm July 2015

July 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Fresh Perspective

A Japanese Perspective…

July 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Karakalpak Motifs – Art in Geometry

              Sometimes it is enough to just enjoy the visual without knowing the meaning… View the complete piece and other images here on wovensouls,com … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Lore of a Kilim Rug | The Lure of a Kilim Rug

One day a Yürük tribal chief saw a kilim rug cast on the ground by a tent. Looking at it brought anguish to his heart, so he called on his … Continue reading

June 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Persian Manuscript Covers

PAIR OF OLD PERSIAN PAINTED MANUSCRIPT BOOK COVER BINDINGS – LACQUERED PAPIER MACHE See more pictures here

May 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

Where the Head is Held High …| Naga Headdress

The Naga people are  proud of their heritage. With a hat and fashion sense like theirs, I would be too. It must be so easy to live Tagore’s words there: … Continue reading

April 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

Triangles of Passion – A Special Textile

A Bagh textile with a thousand triangles – created with love and passion

March 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

Photographing the Spirit

The Difficulty of capturing the spirit of glossy Silk in a photograph

March 18, 2015 · 1 Comment

DAILY ART FIX – Gujarat Embroidery

RUSTIC TRIBAL EMBROIDERY WITH GORGEOUS NATURAL COLORS ON COARSE HAND SPUN COTTON! JM. .

January 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Loin Cloths – Art in Frugality

It appears to me from media, from the TV shows, films and music, especially those from Hollywood & Bollywood, that the world today is obsessed and preoccupied with matters of … Continue reading

November 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Home Decor 3

Ideas for Interior Wall Art Decor Decorating with an early-mid 19th century Thirma Bagh Phulkari. To view Phulkari Baghs visit the Textile Gallery of wovenouls.com jm Nov 20, 2014

November 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

October 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Art from the Swat Valley – an external article

Recommended reading on Swat Valley: Link to An article by Doris Srinivasan To view textile artworks from Swat & around please click on this link.

September 28, 2014 · 1 Comment

Textiles in Ancient Jain Kalpasutras

Sharing the diverse range of gorgeous textiles seen in ancient Jain manuscripts from India

September 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

September 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Auctions of Interest

Some beautiful pieces that caught my eye in the upcoming auctions: 1.Miniature Painting, Rajasthan | Treasures of Asia | Auctionata | Sept 4th, 2014 2. India, photographs – Indian textiles … Continue reading

August 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Textile Subjects in Indian Miniature Paintings

Recently came across these miniatures on the internet: A Fraser Album Artist: a cotton-carder at work, attributed to the artist Ghulam ‘Ali Khan (fl. 1817-55) Delhi, circa 1820 Men and … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mystical Banjara Textiles

What does one get when the women of a social group have a strong intellect, happiness in their hearts and time on their hands? Art. Art that is used to … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

Textiles within Textiles

Am studying my Phad (Par) textiles and enjoying the complex scenes painted in. There are two types of Phads: one narrating the legend of Pabuji and the other narrating the … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

SEEN ON EBAY: PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night!

PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night. (India) issued Boston: 1851. Fine original antique engraved woodblock view of native figures of India, printed on quality paper … Continue reading

May 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

A LADAKHI LADY DONS HER HEIRLOOM JEWELRY

On the way back from interior Himalayas in September last year, we stopped at a tiny village in Skyurbuchan that had the only restaurant along the way, for a late … Continue reading

April 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

18th Century Carpet Weights – Mehrangarh Fort Museum, Jodhpur

An accessory for an accessory! Even though I collected carpets for a few years – I had never come across this category of objects in any books or in any … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 2 Comments

Salar Jung Museum – The Ivory Collection

The pictures say it all!! The museum boasts of a collection of unimaginable ivory items such as a coach, coffee tables & chairs, and window panes! Other functional items such … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

The day I almost missed a Flight – Textiles of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the late 80s I had heard about the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the things I heard evoked a desire to visit. Life came in the way between … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 4 Comments

Antique Paintings on Mica

I was incredulous when I saw these for the first time! Why would anyone create a work of art on something so fragile? It seems that paper was more expensive … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 5 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Heirloom Patan Patola Ikat, Pre 19th century

This extremely fine example of double Ikat is an heirloom piece of one of the two surviving Patola weaving families. Known as the heirloom fragment piece that has been with … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Vintage Akha Headdress

This headdress is a signature element of the costume of one of the Akha subtribes living in Northern Thailand. Available for acquisition. ‘Vanishing Cultures’ An exhibition of photography & antique … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Rare Awadh Shield

A very rare shield. March 7, 8, 9   | 10am – 7pm The Arts House, (Old Parliament) | Singapore. MORE DETAILS : ‘VANISHING CULTURES’ – An Exhibition of Cultural Photographs … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Stunning Old Costume Photos from Tibet

  A delightful find on Facebook – stunning old photos of Tibetan women wearing their extravagant headdresses and accessories! The headdress is used as a tool to attach false hair tied … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

Costumes from Mongolia – A Peep into the Past

A discussion on a forum board opened my eyes to the details that form part of the background of paintings. In this particular case, the forum discussed rugs in the … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · 7 Comments

How many Indian Manuscripts exist?

In my readings about ancient Indian texts I came across an interesting article by Wujastyk. The main page  is linked below. A few interesting excerpts: India as a modern nation-state … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mystical Gold Ornaments from the past

When I look at some  of the ornaments from the past, they leave me awestruck! The art & craft within them is doubtlessly stunning. But beyond that, there is an … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

Antique Yao Head Cloth – 3-D weaving!

A close look at the end-bands of this Yao Head cloth (or shoulder cloth) reveals a 3-Dimensional visual that has been created intentionally! Worn by women on the head in … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Enigmatic Ceremonial Weavings from Sumatra

The beginning of my latest article published on Jozan.net: 1. INTRODUCTION Weaving of ceremonial cloths ceased in Lampung, Sumatra at the end of the 19th century. This phenomenon of the … Continue reading

November 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

ANTIQUE NINGYO DOLLS

ANTIQUE JAPANESE NINGYO DOLLS Note the detail in the costumes and the detail on the faces. The two dots on the woman’s forehead are intriguing! jm Nov 2013

November 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

INTRICATE WOVEN ART OF BHUTAN

ANTIQUE BHUTAN KERA TEXTILE ART ANTIQUE KERA VINTAGE KERA (OR KIRA)     jm Oct 2013

November 4, 2013 · 2 Comments

Is it Silk? Is it Wool? An Antique Dowry Rug

A challenge: Identify the material of this antique Qashqai dowry rug using just the visuals below: Is this a silk? Or is it a wool? Do leave your guesses in … Continue reading

October 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

The beauty of a Powerful Red Dragon

Of the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac, the dragon is the most powerful animal associated with a given year in the cycle of 12 years. Children born in the … Continue reading

October 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Gorgeous Tampan Ship Cloth from Sumatra

A textile full of soul! From the Kota Agung region, Sumatra. Pre 1900s. A rare design in Tampans featuring a colonial Dutch ship and the associated ancestral tree. Note the … Continue reading

October 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

ANTIQUE CEREMONIAL CLOTH FROM SUMATRA

An old ancestral textile – circa 1850 – 1900 – a Tatibin – has now joined he WOVENSOULS collection. Time to celebrate! jm Oct 2013

October 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Fantastic Skeypuk Jewelry of Himalayan Interiors

The mystery of how coral got to the Himalayas has many explanations yet the mind continues to meander into the past seeking confirmations. While the mind continues to thirst for … Continue reading

September 16, 2013 · 1 Comment

Art in Antique Hookah Shisha Pipes

My children are surprised to learn that Hookah and Shisha is not a discovery of their generation! That generation (and every other before it) of young people believes that every … Continue reading

August 15, 2013 · 1 Comment

WOVENSOULS | Antique Jewelry | Tribal and Ethnic

This page showcases some of the old tribal and ethnic collectible jewelry from the Wovensouls Collection. The art and the symbolism contained in tribal pieces is breathtaking. JM AUG 2013

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

WOVENSOULS | Antique Jewelry | Himalayan and Tibetan

Showcased below are a few of the pieces from the Tibetan and Himalayan Gallery.

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

WOVENSOULS | Antique Jewelry | Silver

This page showcases some of the old silver collectible jewelry from the Wovensouls Collection.  The diversity of style and form in silver is certain to please even the mature collector. … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

WOVENSOULS | Antique Textiles | Hilltribes

To view all the items in the WOVENSOULS gallery of textiles, jewelry and art, please click here.

July 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Adornments beyond compare – Tribal Jewelry of Nagaland

Even though the young & the rich get allured into buying gems and jewelry  by big brands that add very little value by stamping a brand name on it and … Continue reading

July 25, 2013 · 3 Comments

Textile Art of Gujarat

I grew up in the Gujarati community of traders. A community in which the critical success factor is ‘data mining’ within the community. Fathers, father’s brothers, mother’s brothers, neighbourhood elders, … Continue reading

July 25, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Indo Persian Mughal Shield – Art & Soul from the Past

A chance visit to an old town. A chance visit to an old neglected antique shop. A chance look at the walls in the back room. And an acquisition that … Continue reading

July 24, 2013 · 3 Comments

Akha Hilltribe Costume Art

The fragility of the Akha hilltribe culture is most poignantly presented in a book ‘Peoples of the Golden Triangle’. Ironically, the two people who wrote this book were missionaries in … Continue reading

July 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

WOVENSOULS SUMMER AUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT

The Summer Auction of timeless textile art, jewelry art and folk art will be conducted online-only on Artfact.com and is open for bidding until June 30th. The catalog may be … Continue reading

June 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Magnificent Stone Artefacts of the Odisha State Museum

Orissa has been the seat of rich ancient civilizations and some of the archaeological finds have been displayed at the State Museum, Bhubaneshwar. Museums in the cities of India are … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Tampan – the bewitching extinct weaving of Lampung

 Weaving ceased in Lampung at the end of the 19th century. Ceased. Extinct. Forever. This fact would be tragic even if we were speaking of some other geography. But once … Continue reading

February 10, 2013 · 3 Comments

Kalinga Diaries

Kalinga. Now called Odisha (Orissa). The poorest state in India financially. Yet, among the richest states culturally. Every Indian has heard of Orissa through its arts – either the dance, … Continue reading

January 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

18th / 19th Century Yao Painted scrolls, North Vietnam

Art. A subject that seems enticing, mysterious as well as ambiguous. An area where it is hard to be sure of oneself especially with respect to valuation. When I look … Continue reading

January 18, 2013 · 2 Comments

Wovensouls makes its first sale to a Museum!

Time for celebration! Wovensouls has just made its first sale to a museum. That the buyer is a renowned museum with one of the best cultural collections in the world … Continue reading

January 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls Website relaunched

The structure and layout of the wovensouls website has been changed to make the flow smoother. Recent acquisitions of  antique textiles, antique jewelry and antique folk art, some of these … Continue reading

January 12, 2013

Recent additions to the antique jewelry collection

Exquisite heirloom pieces just added! 1. Antique turquoise necklace with large Ghau (with compartment) 2. Antique heirloom Naga necklace with shell, bone and glass beads 3. Antique Tuareg (African Sahara) … Continue reading

December 27, 2012

New Textile Art Pieces in the WovenSouls Collection – November 2012

Am back from a project in Kutch India. The dealers of antique textiles are preparing for an alternate as they believe that the supply of up tribal textiles is drying … Continue reading

October 31, 2012 · 3 Comments

Additions to the Wovensouls Antique Textile Gallery – Tribal Bags

A few tribal bags that were acquired on my travels….. Some are  bags originally used by tribals. Others are made using antique or vintage tribal textiles. All gorgeous. All very … Continue reading

September 21, 2012 · 1 Comment

New Acquisitions of Kutch Textile Art in the Wovensouls Collection

The eye learns with every new exposure and becomes more discerning. Now I value the unusual form more than I did earlier.  In the world of textile art everything can … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

An album from a forgotten visit in 2007 to the Asian Civilisations Museum …. taken with a camera I do not even remember. A photography experience that probably made me … Continue reading

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Curious Dayak Tribal Objects

I had never articulated the thought in my head until Kuching but had always known this even during my days of scrounging through Chor Bazaar in Bombay and flea markets … Continue reading

June 14, 2012

Latest Additions to the Antique Gallery – June 2012

Antique and Vintage acquisitions from the Dayak tribes from Sarawak, Sumatra and Kalimantan have been added to the Wovensouls galleries linked below: Antique Textiles from Borneo Antique Articles from Borneo … Continue reading

June 5, 2012

The Batak Calendar from Sumatra, Indonesia

Everyone reading this would know that it is the year 2012. And everyone would also know that the world did not begin 2012 years ago – so what does this … Continue reading

June 5, 2012 · 8 Comments

Sarawak Diaries

The number of hours spent in an airplane seems to be directly proportional to the “Exotica  Quotient” of a destination. This is false of course and although I knew that, … Continue reading

May 28, 2012 · Leave a comment

Tribal Signatures – Face Tattoos of the Apatani tribe

The lifestyle of Apatani hilltribe of Arunachal Pradesh fascinates a cultural traveller on several aspects. But the one that hit me with the greatest intensity are the 2 tribal signatures … Continue reading

January 4, 2012

The Chamms Masked Dances by the Monks of Chemrey Monastery – Ladakh

Lamas of the ancient Chemrey monastery performing the Masked dances in Leh in which they enact religious tales with a moral. The stunning colors of the flowing robes combined with … Continue reading

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

An Appeal for “The Blue Veil Project”

  The magnificent head dress of Ladakh – the Perak laden with rows and rows of turquoise gem stones and coral, is probably among the most exquisite bridal ornaments in … Continue reading

October 1, 2011 · 2 Comments

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

Antique Jain Paintings, India

Jainism as a religion has harmony with all elements of nature as one of the core beliefs. Non violence, minimalistic living and compassion are values central to its philosophy. All … Continue reading

August 13, 2011

Christian Paintings from the Past

Old. Beautiful. Full of stories. Full of devotion. Antique Church Paintings. Many of these are on wood board. Others may be on canvas. Some hang high up on walls and … Continue reading

July 31, 2011 · 4 Comments

Antique Java Topeng Masks and Wayang Topeng

Wayang Topeng is an Indonesian dance form that uses masks such as the ones shown below, that evolved in the 16th century. Performances enact Javanese stories about 12th century heroes … Continue reading

July 11, 2011

Exquisite Vintage Kebayas – the costume of the Peranakan culture

Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya and Straits Chinese are terms used for descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region of British controlled Malaya and the Dutch controlled Java among … Continue reading

April 21, 2011

Conserving antique textiles

Antique textiles, as most textile collectors know, have inherent in them the twin problems of conservation and non-invasive display. Objects that are investments of finances as well as passions, are … Continue reading

April 7, 2011

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Buddhist Ritual Objects

My awareness of Buddhist rituals and practices is limited to my observations. Someday I hope I will have the opportunity to seek out the stories and the philosophies behind these … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture

The initial images display exteriors of monasteries while the last dozen display the interiors. Back to Sikkim Diaries jm March 2011

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Wood Art in Sikkim Monasteries – Windows, Doors and Pillars

The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Procession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

The head Lama at Enchey, a quiet handsome and dignified gentleman who rarely speaks to visitors, honored me with a detailed conversation about his life* and about the monastery. He … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Pattachitra Art of Assam

Pattachitra is similar to ‘storyboards’ or stories told along with pictures. The tales depicted are usually derived from epics such as Bhagawat and Ramayana. In ancient India, this art was … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · 3 Comments

Rural art & crafts of Assam

Art arises as an expression of common people as expressions of culture, expression of religion and expression of belief. In cases where the art form finds a patron, the technique … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of the Ahom Kingdom – Guwahati Museum Collection

The Ahoms are a community found largely in Assam. This community consists of the descendants of ethnic Tai people who accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa who established the Ahom kingdom … Continue reading

February 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

Tribal Textile and Bead Art of Nagaland

This photoessay is preceded by the article that appears on Jozan.net titled “Red, White and Black – Tribal Textiles of Nagaland” available here. Images will say it better than words … Continue reading

December 27, 2010 · 3 Comments

Nagaland Diaries

An image from 1870s Nov 29th, 2010 Am setting out to explore Nagaland – home to over 20 distinct tribes characterised by two intriguing lifetsyles: headhunting and minimal clothing. This … Continue reading

December 26, 2010 · 1 Comment

Newari Wood Art

I am ashamed now of my ignorance of that entire Himalayan region that houses a rainbow spectrum of historic cultures – that have left so many pieces of art & … Continue reading

July 9, 2010 · 1 Comment

And then there was the Naabob…

The Naabob – the completely mispronounced mutilation of the word Navwaab …a word that represents a fine old gentleman, I met in Lucknow in 2005. Lucknow they say is an … Continue reading

July 8, 2010 · Leave a comment

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