The Stylistic Development of the Kashmir Shawl Under Maharaja Runjit Singh 1799-1839
In this new ground-breaking work, Frank Ames’s unique passion for the subject expands into new territory, revealing the Khalsa (Sikh Brotherhood movement, in its recontextualization and transformation of the Kashmir shawl in powerful ethnic terms. During this era of Punjab India’s colorful history a variety of complex and enigmatic patterns in the shawl emerged-some purely geometric, others symbolic which have long eluded textiles experts. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s takeover of Kashmir in 1819 had an extraordinary impact on the fashion of the legendary Kashmir shawls, giving rise to a “a major artistic expression in the subcontinent” as pointed out by Dr. Jean-Marie Lafont, professor of art history, and author and scholar on the history of the Punjab.
Through the exploration of miniature painting of Northern India and the Hill States, Kashmiri manuscripts, the Sikh Holy Scriptures of the Sri Adi Granth and Janam Sakhis, and illustrations of unique shawls from world collections, Ames describes with his usual penchant for exacting detail the nature and source of these enigmatic patterns that define the Sikh period. In addition, textiles enthusiast will discover new material in chapters devoted to the Mughal period, lacquer painting and Indo-Persian shawl influences and trade.
Over 200 color Illustrations
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