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Hanging consisting of a narrow, horizontal bead-worked rectangle with nine pentagonal beadwork leaves along the bottom edge. Background of opaque white beads with patterns in translucent green, red, blue and yellow beads. Rectangle has a diamond shaped foliage design alternating with a bird. The hangings alternate with patterns of a peacock and diamonds with a cow and tree; central design is a stylized human figure. Each leaf is bordered on four sides with one row of red beads and has three tassels of four bead loops in varying colours. The rectangle is backed with red textile and has five hanging loops stitched to the top edge. Beadwork attached to backing with overcast and running stitches.

History Of Use

Hanging for a door lintel, used in Hindu homes for religious and auspicious occasions.

Specific Techniques

Beadwork: probably worked from narrow end with a needle, and single element linked to itself between beads on the preceding row(?); leaves probably worked separately by linking to the bottom row of the rectangle(?) uncut, unconstructed. Beading thread: spin and ply unidentifiable, synthetic fibre per microscope (40 x 100), slide filed. Backing: spin and ply unidentifiable, acetate-like fibre per microscope (40 x 100), slide filed. Simple plain weave 1/1, dyed, cut and unstructured. Hanging loops: spin and ply unidentifiable, acetate-like fibre per microscope (40 x 100), slide filed. Machine-made round cord, dyed cut, constructed.

Iconographic Meaning

The peacock is a symbol of beauty and immortality: the cow is a symbol of prosperity and abundance. Vishnu, the four-armed god, is the preserver of the world.

Cultural Context


Item History

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