Posted by Steve Price on 09-19-2004 02:19 PM:

Mystery Textile Number 4

Hi People

Here is Richard's fourth mystery textile:

Posted by Tim Adam on 09-20-2004 01:46 AM:

How about part of a suzanni embroidery?


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-20-2004 03:05 AM:

Ottoman suzani? I say Ottoman for the stylization of the flower. I’m not sure if the term "suzani" can be applied to an Ottoman textile, though.

As a matter of fact… Where we can use correctly the term "suzani"?


Posted by Steve Price on 09-20-2004 05:49 AM:

Hi Filiberto

"Suzani" means needlework. So the term can apply to any embroidery.


Steve Price

Posted by Richard Farber on 09-21-2004 11:35 AM:

Dear Turkotekees,

you must wait a day or two for the next clue but in the meantime a verbal clue.

think of monuments of eternal love.


richard farber

Posted by Vincent Keers on 09-21-2004 05:05 PM:

Oi, Oi, Oi,

So easy.
Buddha's pyjama jacket

Best regards,

Posted by R. John Howe on 09-21-2004 07:48 PM:

Dear folks -

Following the theory that resources should help I have consulted seven books on Turkish and Greek Island embroidery and Islamic textiles in general, although suspecting that Turkish ones are most likely.

I still don't really have a clue.

I might be tempted to say that this is another Turkish tea towel but it seems like a field design to me rather than a border and the hint provided presses one well beyond tea towels.

A bed hanging?


R. John Howe

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-23-2004 02:31 AM:

Richard sent another clue:

Posted by R. John Howe on 09-23-2004 06:57 AM:

Hi Richard -

Seems more like an echo than a new clue.

R. John Howe

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-23-2004 07:04 AM:

Echo of something like this?

Posted by Richard Farber on 09-23-2004 10:31 AM:

Dear Mr. Howe

this is an important NEW clue . . . with vital NEW information . . . when you know the answer you shall see.

Dear Mr. Boncompagni

the mystery textile in in definately not an ECHO of the textile that you have shown --- it looks familiar.

Posted by Vincent Keers on 09-23-2004 08:04 PM:


Monuments of enternal love?
Can't be: Christian, Islamic, Atheist.
So Buddhist or Hinduism?


Posted by Steve Price on 09-24-2004 10:28 AM:

Hi People

Here's Richard's third clue on this piece:

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-26-2004 02:15 AM:

Mumble, mumble…
"Monument of eternal love" PLUS this kind of decoration makes me think to the Taj Mahal…
Mughal embroidery! Indian, at least.


Posted by Stephen Louw on 09-27-2004 01:05 PM:

Flowers, especially smaller ones, look Uzbek rather than Mughal to me. Stephen

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-29-2004 03:55 AM:

New image:

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 09-30-2004 03:18 AM:

I insist: Mughal style silk embroidery on cotton, 18th century.

Probably a “niche” form, like the first image above.



Posted by Richard Farber on 09-30-2004 12:20 PM:

eternal love and botanic images

dear all

fileberto is almost there but not quite . . . a verbal clue or two

think again of the other clues

think of botanical drawings

good luck

richard farber

n.b. new objects and clues soon . . .

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 10-01-2004 08:54 AM:

Mughal embroidery with garden panel design?


Posted by Richard Farber on 10-01-2004 10:04 AM:

dear filiberto and other turkotekees

filiberto's answer had some truth in it . . . . another verbal clue

think of the exhibition flowers underfoot, indian carpets of the mughal era

there was considerable discussion of it on this site if i remember correctly . . .

in the book are knotted versions of this embroidery . . . hows that for a clue


richard farber

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 10-01-2004 11:11 AM:

I don’t have the book, but I had a look at the review of "Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era"on Turkotek:

Are you speaking of this rug?

If so, yours is a prayer cloth!



Posted by Richard Farber on 10-01-2004 11:21 AM:

dear turkotekees . . . .

an answer must have

what the object is



[it might have the image of a companion piece --- ]

so to sum up for filiberto . . . .

the mystery object is a prayer cloth


18th cent.




and a long sitar passage BUT . . .

melodramatic pause

that is not the correct answer !!!!!!!! [only one out of three is correct]

i iwll post the complete image tomorrow . . . . but i believe someone might still get the correct answer from the available clues but visual AND VERBAL.

in the meantime might i suggest that objects numbers 8, 9 and 10 are now available in the "NAME THAT TEXTILE" attribution game.


richard farber

as to filiberto's direct question - i was not particularly thinking of that rug . . although i could have been . . . i was thinking about a fragment on page 24-25 where the colors are more similar to the mystery item.

another liittle clue . . . .gujurati might help

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 10-01-2004 01:42 PM:

All right, all right!

Let, say only: Mughal style silk embroidery on cotton, 17th (OK?)century.


Posted by Richard_Farber on 10-01-2004 02:18 PM:

dear turkotekees,

the complete image of the textile is the final clue. one crucial bit of information missing from Filiberto's excellent detective work. . . . look very carefully at the image [clue]


Richard Farber

Posted by Stephen Louw on 10-03-2004 02:42 PM:

Richard -- I give up. "Flowers Under Foot" speaks of the widespread adoption off naturalistic floral images during the reign of Shah Jahan. The book also illustrates a number of carpets with similar borders, arches or flower motifs: but no close woven companion to this embroidery.

This piece does not look as old to me, and its limited colour palette (with neon-purple on my monitor) is out of kilter with the examples published by Walker (and by Rosemary Crill in her book), although in keeping with some of the embroideries exhibited in the V&A in London.

So perhaps a later version of a design imported from Persia and adapted under court patronage in accordance with Shah Jahan's taste.

(PS: my earlier comment to the effect that it looked Uzbek confused the carpet posted by Filiberto (dubbed "an echo ...") and your posting. Sorry, this is most certainly not Uzbek).

Posted by Steve Price on 10-05-2004 01:16 PM:

Hi People

Richard just sent me this image for posting in this thread:

Steve Price

Posted by Richard Farber on 10-05-2004 01:19 PM:

dear mr louw

i have asked steve to post a photo of page 224 from

Brend, Barbara Islamic Art British Museum Press London 1991

[by the way a very fine introduction highly recomended]

on this page you can see the gujarati embroidery that is promenently displayed in the nehru room of the v and a.

if you cant make out the text it reads:

"cotton prayer mat, mughal with gujarati style silk embroidery, second half of the 17th cent. The cloth is worked in chain-stich, and delicate shading effects are created with two blues, two turquoises, green, yellow, raspberry and pink. the lilly is surrounded by chinoiserie clouds."

the clouds were one of the clues

the piece that i put up in the game is part of a saf [have a look at the corners and you can see where they are not closed on one side where the other panels would have continued. . . it really is 17th cent. according to experts who have viewed it.

carpets have a different aesthetic than embroidery and i agree it is not readily clear that pieces from the same period belong together.

it is often the case that early pieces in good condition often seem not to be as old as they are . . . the colors of the two gujarati embroideries from the 17cent. that i have seen in person look as if they were embroidered yesterday. the same is often the case antique carpets. . .

indian block prints [something that i looking into] of the early 19th cent. if in good condition almost always look brighter [and easily mistaken as newer for those who dont know that type of work] than those made a cent. later.

early 19th cent. susanis that were kept out of the sunlight often look newer brighter than those of the early twentieth cent.

sorry about the long winded answer


richard farber

yes i also agree with you that these 17th cent. embroiedered pieces are much less crowed than those of the 18th cent.

the colors on the monitor are not exact of course . . . the closeups of the clues are better.

Posted by Stephen Louw on 10-05-2004 01:27 PM:

Thanks -- its lovely, absolutely georgous. I have spent quite a bit of time in the Nehru room at the V&A but dont remember this piece. (90% due to my poor memory. 10% due to the V&A's policy of keeping the lights so low that one needs almost to bring a torch javascript:smilie('')

Will check this out next time I have the opportunity.

Stephen Louw