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Description

Multicoloured wool blanket, constructed from six narrow (about 23 cm) strips of equal length, aligned side by side, and sewn together edge to edge. Each of these strips is woven in a repeated pattern of narrow horizontal stripes, of black, red and two shades of blue, alternating with wider stripes of off-white and orange-yellow. On the right side of the blanket, the off-white and orange-yellow stripes are over-printed with repeated cross-shaped (+-shaped) motifs in red and dark blue (see Cataloger’s Remarks below). When sewing the strips together, no attempt was made to align the patterns, resulting in a random design. The reverse side is the same but without the cross motifs. One end of the blanket is bound with bright purple silk jacquard textile; the opposite end is bound with pale pink silk jacquard textile, and at the center of this end, a small (10 cm) diamond shaped decorative patch made of two squares of patterned silk textile is stitched on.

History Of Use

Used as a bed cover.

Specific Techniques

The cross-shaped motifs on the blanket were dyed using a form of clamp resist. The textile was held into position with a special carved wooden device that exposed only the part of the textile that was to be dyed. In some places, you can still see the slight distortion made by the clamp device on the back of the textile, and in other places you can see the ‘shadow’ of the device on the surrounding textile. This form of decorative motif is found on clothing and furnishings from this region.

Narrative

Yapshi-Yuthok Kalon Tashi Dhondup Collection: The title Yapshi is given to all families that have a Dalai Lama born into the family, and Shape and Kalon are titles that the four lay Cabinet Ministers hold. The Yuthok family is descended from the 10th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso. Being a Minister in the Traditional Tibetan Government, Yapshi-Yuthok Tashi Dhondup was also known as Shape or Kalon Yuthok. There is one item belonging to Kalon Yuthok that is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum: a Tibetan saddle, which he used on special occasions and during the Tibetan New Year when he would go to the Potala Palace. It was the wish of the late Mrs. Tsering Dolkar Yapshi-Yuthok that the museum display the family's heirloom textiles so that visitors could learn about Tibet's rich history and culture.

Item History

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