Valance

About this object

History of use

Blue and white embroideries are part of a long domestic tradition. Designs vary geographically but are constant within generations of families except for minor individual variations. Often used to decorate the bed which traditionally played a focal part in household ritual particularly at the new year when all household spirits were honored. They are family made, by women, and family owned. These embroideries were of no local commercial value.

Cultural context

utilitarian;household

Iconographic meaning

Butterfly, joy, lightness, true love. Swastika, supreme good luck. Phoenix, peace and prosperity.

Physical description

Plain cloth with blue cross-stitch and single stitch embroidery. Five medallions, centre depicts male on horseback, surrounded by flowers and butterfly. Medallion to viewer's right has cross in center surrounded by four butterflies and various flora and fauna around. Medallion at end has decorative square in center surrounded by four potted flowers and four deer(?) To viewer's left of center, medallion has insects and flowers. Medallion at end has swastika in a square surrounded by four large flowers and decorative elements. Potted flowering plants above and below center motifs. In bottom left corner, two persons and a mule, opposite corner shows bat(?) with four swastikas. Bordered on all three sides by band of embroiderey, two ends show butterflies and sprigs, bottom has repeating pattern with phoenix. Side borders hemmed.