About this object

History of use

Might have been used as a bed cover for a bride and groom. Could have been used as a decorative wall hanging, curtain, room divider, etc. Domestic textiles played a central role in family life.


According to Clarke Abbott of Tradewind Antiques, the person who collected this piece lived in Kabul in the early 1960s, doing ambassadorial work. He traveled widely throughout the area. He was killed in an automobile accident there, and no further information is available about him or his collection. The piece was subsequently acquired by Tradewind Antiques in Vancouver at an unknown date, and the Museum of Anthropology purchased it in 1984, when the business was liquidating its stock.

Physical description

Rectangular, multi-coloured silk bed cover or wall hanging. It is constructed of five-colour silk warp-face ikat textile (dark red, yellow, red, blue and pale pink), which forms a ‘frame’ around a large rectangular panel of yellow-green shot silk textile (yellow warp, green weft). Loosely quilted by hand at 55 cm intervals onto a backing of machine-printed off-white and orange cotton gauze. There is a lightweight layer of cotton batting between the layers. The silk ikat textile has been pieced together in many places. Bound on all four edges with bias strips of silk and cotton ikat textile. A strip of white cotton broadcloth, 4 cm wide, is hand-sewn along one short edge, and there are small fibre loops attached at two corners (one made of narrow gold braid, the other of white and blue printed cotton textile).