Hover over main image to zoom
This piece is a West Bengali Kantha quilt known as a Nakshi Kantha because it prominently features figures that not only have cultural significance but also tell the story of the artisan maker. We purchased this textile from an esteemed collector in Bhuj who has been studying and collecting Kanthas for more than 50 years. He estimates that this piece is about 80 years old. This piece was the work of a highly skilled anonymous woman who used this quilt as an opportunity to memorialize her story. That this piece has survived is a testament to her artistry.
The quilt has a cotton base and the embroidery thread is cotton. It features a central roundel which we have come to know typifies this type of textile. The detailed botah, or paisely, anchors each corner. On this type of textile a fish is most commonly associated with the goddess and the fish make an ideal border. Notice the horses, peacocks and elephants. Peacocks, while not indigenous to India, have come to symbolize wealth.
Use the magnifier and take a look at the stitches. You will find the outline stitch and of course the Kantha stitch or running stitch. Notice how the artisan was able to create a variety of effects with a single stitch. Notice the different effects created for the wheels using the pattern darning stitch. This textile has been used and loved. This the right textile for the collector looking for the quinessential Nakshi Kantha. The once bright embroidery now has a timeless patina that would be perfect in any interior. This piece would be beautiful framed on the wall or it is perfect for the textile lover who wants to use it as a wall hanging. There is a sleeve sewn to the back for hanging.
Spot clean. As a vintage textile there is obvious wear.
Watch this video to hear by Cultural Cloth founder, Mary Anne Wise, knows these quilts are special:
Please email Mary Anne if you have any more questions about this piece.