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Description

Multicoloured wool blanket, constructed from five narrow (about 21 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. The blanket is bordered on three sides with narrow (9- and 18-cm) strips of multicoloured striped wool textile. The ends are faced and bound with red cotton velveteen, printed with floral motifs in black. On the reverse side of the blanket, a 1-cm wide band of black fabric that has been printed with small white and green motifs is sewn where the border and the main body of the blanket meet.

History Of Use

Used as a bed cover.

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.

Specific Techniques

The cross-shaped motifs 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 furnishing from this region.

Item History

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