TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Why "Zoroastrian"?
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  10-04-2000 on 08:49 p.m.
This is the close-up of the early piece that Wendel has described as a "Zoroastrian" textile. Perhaps I really only want to call attention again to the beauty of this textile but I do have a question to ask about it. Wendel, could you talk a little of what you know of the basis for its attribution as "Zoroastrian?" I assume the major auction house described it in these terms. Did they indicate something of their rationale? And while we are looking at it, did we say anything about its likely use? Regards, R. John Howe

Subject  :  RE:Why
Author  :  Wendel Swan
Date  :  10-05-2000 on 01:26 p.m.
wdswan@erols.com Dear all, The Zoroastrian textile was the subject of a TurkoTek show and tell within the past year. For a full discussion of similar textiles, I refer all to Asian Art, the second Hali annual, in which Patricia L. Baker shows various examples of Zoroastrian costumes. Some are located at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey and were collected by Sir Percy Molesworth Sykes while he was British counsel in Kerman between 1895 and 1903. Most of the very few Zoroastrians remaining in Persia are located around Yazd, near Kerman. The textile which I presented at the potpourri is appoximately 5 feet wide and about 18 inches high. It is made entirely of silk and has extremely fine botehs embroidered on it. It is quite difficult to see just how fine the work is without magnification. Each strip is about 2 inches wide. The strips are separately dyed (to an incredible saturation) and then sewn together and onto a blue cotton backing. The embroidery extends through that backing. The individual botehs mirror in their stripes the stripes of the full textile. Here is the full panel. Although it is hard to imagine that something five feet long was made to encircle the lower leg of a bride, that is the case. These strips form part of the “baggy” or “voluminous” trousers that the brides wear. Below is an image of the full trousers, the top portion of which is not seen beneath other layers of clothing. Following is an image of a Zoroastrian woman wearing a Zoroastrian costume of headdress, shawl, jacket, tunic and the baggy trousers. Traditionally, the Zoroastrian men wore virtually unadorned garments, in strong contrast to the colorful costumes of the women. Elsewhere in this salon, the subject of the harmony of natural dyes was mentioned. There are many who may find the array of colors and patterns of the entire costume to be disharmonious, clashing or confusing. While I normally prefer patterning to be offset by plain space, there is also something appealing to me about the riot of colors in these costumes and the aesthetic which those colors represent. Individually, this panel has a combination of strong, simple colors and intricate details. I am probably more attracted by the simple stripes than I am by the embroidery, but, at least for me, this is an example of what “color” is all about. Best, Wendel

Subject  :  RE:Why "Zoroastrian?"
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  10-05-2000 on 03:02 p.m.
Wendel - Wonderful post! The only thing I can do is lead the cheering. This is the kind of thing to which we aspire but do not often enough achieve. Thanks for the very real work and time you've invested not just in this particular post but in the salon in general. Regards, R. John Howe

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