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, conjugal fidelity. Prunus (five petaled flower), winter. Lotus, purity. Cricket; courage, summer. Pomegranate; offspring, posterity.

Physical description

Large black embroidery open rinceau extends across plain white cloth. Selvage on top; three sides hemmed and embroidered with stylized butterflies. Stylized scalloped leaves and stems. Centre motif is five petalled flower containing: centre, leaves and stems bordered by half-circle scallop. Clockwise around centre: petals containing; lotus, cricket, lotus, butterfly, pomegranate. At right of central flower, two large leaves, cricket, minor leaves, stems, flowers. At left of central flower, leaf containing lotus and butterfly. Further right, three petalled flower with centre containing moth? Flanking petals contain other flowers. Additional leaves and branches.