AUD $180.00

Uzbek, Khan Atlas Cape.

An Uzbek woman’s “kaltacha” cape from Samarkand, these are worn over the head, usually over a broad turban “bosh”.

Made of brightly patterned “khan atlas” (King of Satins) silk with a subtly machine embroidered collar, further decorated with old white “mother of pearl” buttons and simple black tassels.
The “kaltacha” like the Turkoman “chyrpy” appears to have evolved from an extra coat worn over the head, to cover the hair, often in combination with a horse hair veil or “yashmak”.

It too has the vestigial sleeves sewn together at the back, no longer able to take an arm.
Some have become too narrow, others are also sewn closed, in this case both.
(I had hoped that these might easily have been converted for wear. But they are quite small and it would damage their appeal if it were attempted, if it’s not just totally impossible anyway.)

The “khan atlas” has ikat patterns of black, ivory, green, pink, blue, pompeian red and burgundy.
As well as the black braid with shell buttons and tassels on the collar, (which is actually worn accross the forehead and temples) the cuffs are sewn shut with a black braid oversewn with wavy white machine detailing.

These “kaltachas” are highly sort after, but are difficult to display as they don’t open out like a kimono (without having the sleeves cut apart, that is. Which is an option.)

They are used to define age, tribe and social position, to mark lifes milestones like bearing the first child, or first son.
Given by her mother to the daughter during her “lying in” as she was now entering a new phase in her womanhood.

More were given with every child born but the first was kept as a special momento.

Younger women/girls wore bright colours including ikat printed “atlas” silk satins, like this one, whilst older women usually wore modest, darker plainer colours.
This fine example is in remarkable condition for its age, (usually the button embellishments aren’t all there. And in this case they nearly all are. Well one’s broken and 3 more are missing, 2 from inside the tassels around the face.)

Unlined except where extra machine embroidery needed reinforcement.
Then a collage of Russian Print Cotton combines red/pink roses on an ultramarine ground and burgundy/indigo stripes with printed strings of beads.

This piece is vintage and has a few small stains as has to be expected.

I keep seeing piano keys on the sleeves!

Age: Mid 20th Century, probably 1960’s.

Size: H mm x W 760 mm (width spread wide.)

Weight: 247 grams.