Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Cloth of the month–a lower Niger prestige sash.


Man's prestige sash, worn over the shoulder, with the warp woven from luxury magenta silk imported to Nigeria by the Saharan caravan trade. Woven by a woman on an upright single heddle loom, the precise origin of this unusual cloth is hard to pinpoint but we can narrow it down to the lower reaches of the Niger and suggest the weaver was most likely Igbo. The neatly woven decoration is in blue, cream, green, and orange, with the same order of colours maintained across the three pattern sections. This is a very rare piece, with only one fairly similar example known (in the British Museum, # Af1956,07.35, collected by Charles Partridge before 1915.) Condition: Excellent. Measurements: 53 inches x 15, 135 cm x 38cm


The image below shows how the cloth would have been worn over the shoulder.


Below is the similar cloth collected by Charles Partridge before 1915 and now in the British Museum.


Click on the photos to enlarge. Click here to view this piece and other rare Nigerian textiles in our gallery.

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