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Collection Artifact Details

Floor Cover

Type: For the Floor
Object Name: Floor Cover
Place Made: Asia: South Asia, India, Western India, Gujarat, Ahmedabad or Surat
Period: 19th to early 20th century
Date: 1800 - 1930
Dimensions: L 240 cm x W 214 cm
Materials: Silk
Techniques: Velvet; embroidered; hand-sewn
ID Number: T88.0283
Credit: Gift of Fred Braida

This velvet floor spread was cut down from a larger textile, possibly a carpet or a hanging. The metallic-ground border with scrolling floral vines and parrots was added later, perhaps in the early 20th century. From at least the mid-16th century, Gujarati workshops (known for their embroidered velvets) supplied the needs of Mughal rulers as well as regional courts. On the back of this piece is a paper label inscribed “decorative embroidered velvet” followed by an illegible inventory number, indicating the piece was probably once in a palace collection. It was common practice for such establishments to have storerooms (toshkana) in which valuable but infrequently used items were kept. The custodian of the toshkana usually marked each item with a brief description, a number, and sometimes the date it entered the storeroom. In addition to the paper label are two identical stamps, which might be those of a velvet-weaving workshop.