AUD $280.00
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Uzbek, "Tulips" Suzani

Sorry, this lovely little suzani is on hold. (If you're after it let us know, as it may still become available.)

A luxuriantly embroidered vertical rectangular “suzani” from Termez, Southern Uzbekistan.(Right near the border with Afghanistan, on the Amu Darya River.)

With a revolving central rosette of a soft blue flower, enclosed by yellow vegetable flames, holding black blossoms.
(Though likened to leaves and twigs, this main yellow rosette reminds me of ripples in a pond.)
It is often said these rosettes trace back to animistic and solar images from the far distant past, promoting fertility and springtime abundance.
On either side delightful “sprays” of “Jacobean” Tulips evoke the awakening of Spring.
In the four corners posies of leaves surround blooms, as seen looking down at the viewers feet.

The backing cloth is a mellow faded mushroomy, burgundy cotton, embroidered with areas of “basma” stitch in faded cotton.
During dyeing the colours have taken differently, then over time faded to produce a delightful “abrash” of variable shades, indicating where different dye batches have been used.
This adds a much valued texture and a mellow warmth to broad areas, toning down the otherwise solid colours.

Being an older used piece hung for decoration over at least a generation there are some minor stains, a darned 7 cm tear at the top right corner (see image) a few tiny holes and a little discolouration to the off-whites (though these also look like more “abrash”.)
I would leave them alone as they add character and the colours might run if you try to carefully hand wash them, (although they are probably safer than the silk floss embroideries, which can run terribly.)

There are slight traces of the smokey scents of burning camel or cow dung cooking fires, lingering in the weave if you hold it close, and sniff. It’s not strong like nomad pieces but has possibly had a past before it had its reinforcing border machine stitched to it, in a more urban setting.
Then, “revived” it has been hung on display in a house for some time, perhaps for another generation. (There are small fabric loops at the top to allow easy hanging.)
This machining is skilfully done with intertwining patterns, not that unlike “Spiro Graph!”

Incidentally, with Suzanis you may sometimes notice joins in the fabric and slight mismatches in the corresponding embroidery.
This is because the loosely tacked together pieces are drawn on, then seperated for different embroiderers to work.
The finished pieces are then rejoined, often the embroidery is slightly out of register (or in some cases drastically so!)

Age: Mid 20th century.

Size: H 131 cm x W 110 cm (H 57.5 ins x W 43.5 ins.)

Weight: 476 grams.