Galerie Ariana

A silk embroidered purse from Afghanistan

A silk embroidered purse from Afghanistan


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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Central Asian: Textiles: Pre 1980: Item # 1161073

Please refer to our stock # PP001 when inquiring.
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Metallic thread is used to optimal effect in this Pashtun nomad's purse from southern Afghanistan. The thread is not taken through the magenta silk background but applied onto it in couched threads, laid parallel to each other and caught down by a small stitch in colored cotton. The small fastening stitches in cotton contribute to form a surface pattern of a neat grid of lines which in themselves create geometric and curvilinear motifs in relief (the technique is called "pokhtaduzi", or Romanian couching). This exquisitely embroidered purse was probably used to store kohl and other intimate personal items. The mirrors are called shisha and are there to assist in averting the evil eye, secured with button hole stitching. Estimated age: early to mid 20th century. Condition is overall excellent, but with some oxidation on one corner of the purse. The inside is lined with a Russian printed cotton fabric. The purse measures 14 x 20.7 cm when opened, 10.3 x 14 cm when closed. Four silk thread pompoms are used as accents on the purse.