Asian Antiques by Silk Road
Uzbek Susani, Samarkand

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Central Asian: Textiles: Pre 1910: item # 168408

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Uzbek Susani, Samarkand
Susani (sometimes spelled "suzani") is the word for "needle" in Farsi, and the large embroidered dowry textiles of Turkic groups are so named because of the many hundreds of hours of needlework required to produce them. This one is from Uzbekistan, where Uzbeks and Tadzhiks share similar textile traditions with the Turkmen and other neighboring peoples in Central Asia. Susani designs and colors vary quite a bit from one locale to another, and the city of origin often is apparent at a glance to someone from the region. This susani is from Samarkand, where we purchased it, and has a floral pattern that identifies it as such. (See a similar Samarkand susani in "The Arts and Crafts of Turkestan," by Johannes Kalter, Thames and Hudson, p. 76.) Susani from the Uzbekistan cities of Samarkand and Tashkent have larger, bolder patterns than susani from their sister city of Bukhara, known for susani with smaller, very intricate flowers and tendrils reminiscent of certain Indian textiles. Used in Central Asia primarily as bedcovers, susani in the hands of Western collectors often are framed and hung as wall art. (See an example of a framed Bukhara susani in "Living with Decorative Textiles," by Nicholas Banard, Thames and Hudson, p. 120.) Susani were embroidered in sections, then sewn together. This one was embroidered in two parts on black cotton fabric, then backed with blue cotton fabric. It dates from the late 19th/early 20th century and is in good condition. Dimensions: length 78" (198 cm), width (47" 120 cm).

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