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Core Record

Object Name Toran
Collection Goldsmith Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery: Object Collection
Date mid to late 20th century
Brief Physical Description A large horizontally rectangular hanging with arched panels forming the lower border. A pattern of appliquéd elephant's parade around the upper rectangle and the centre contains a range of vibrant pieced silks. Select this link for more description information.
Id Number Current Accession 4195
Location Creation Site Gujarat, Bavanagar, Serastra
Subject embroidery, quilts, domestic textiles, toran, quilt, hanging, door hanging, Punta de la Banya, Gujarat
Measurements Dimensions 740mm x 2130mm
Number Of Items 1
Materials Used (aat) cotton, silk
Content And Subject Information “I remember this well, this was unique, I thought. It's a toran, which is the hanging that a lot of communities in Gujarat put up above the doorway to the main room of the house. These people are the Banya
Production Information it's a shopkeeper and they do ‘cutup' – that extremely ancient Sanskrit term! I remember saying to Constance, because I thought that this was incredibly interesting and nobody thought it was interesting apart from her. And what's so interesting is this Chinese brocade. These people are very rich and they are frugal. They are all frugal but the women are particularly frugal. They do their embroidery, they deal in cloth, and so they just use the end of rolls. So they're not actually spending any money on their textiles. They will sell Chinese brocade
Available Images In Print it may be Tan Choy, which is a form of Chinese brocade, which was very popular in India, in Western India anyway. [MHT] So where do these people come from; [JG] They come from around Bavanagar near Serastra in Gujarat. The whole state is Gujarat and Cutch is up near the Pakistan boarder and you've got a gulf and then you've got Serastra.[MHT] What kind of terrain are we looking at here, climate and landscape wise; [JG] Its is a port. South Cutch is reasonably fertile and then you get up to the desert and then you've got salt flats on the Rann of Cutch which is the old dried up bed of the Indus. The thing about the Rann is that it floods with the monsoon and Cutch becomes an island and then when the floods start to recede you get all this incredible pasture and that's what's attracted all the pastoralists and it's the pastoralists that do the embroidery. So without the flooding you wouldn't get the grass and without the grass you wouldn't get the pastoralists with their flocks of sheep and goats and they wouldn't have a living and they wouldn't do the embroidery. So without the geography you wouldn't have this concentration of pastoralists to do this wonderful embroidery.”Information given in an audio taped interview between John Gillow, collector, Margaret Hall-Townley and Janet Anderson. The recording is held at the Constance Howard Resource & Research Centre in Textiles. Recorded: June 21st 2001.John GillowJohn Gillow, traveler, collector and writer with special knowledge of Asian embroidered textiles.Margaret Hall-TownleyCurator for Material Collection, Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles at Goldsmiths College, University of London.Janet AndersonArtist, lecturer and collector with a special knowledge of Asian Textiles.
Bibliographic References Produced by women in a domestic situation for their own
Rights Goldsmiths College, University of London. Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles.
Techniques Used (aat) appliqué, tassel, piecing



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