VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Double ikat Patolu
1996.472
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

There are very few places still making double-ikat textiles in Asia. This is therefore a rare example of a weaving type in which both warp and weft threads are tied and dyed. As the cloth is woven, the warp and weft have to be carefully aligned in order to produce a coherent design. It is an example of finely woven and technologically sophisticated textiles made in India for a niche market during the 19th century.

History of the Object
The piece is an Indian textile commissioned by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) for export to Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia. It is a double-ikat woven in silk with the design of elephants in a royal procession or hunt scene with various attendants, horsemen, charioteers, soldiers as well as wild animals such as peacocks and tigers.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Silk, natural and artificial dyes 
Measurements
W99 , L 400 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; Gujarat 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
Ca. 18th Century 
Function
This type of textile was used as a decorative hanging. Produced in Gujarat, India, these rare ‘elephant potolu’ were commissioned by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as gifts to local rulers in their colonial possessions in return for their continued cooperation. Because of their intricacy and rarity they were highly prized as prestige items. 
Acquisition
The museum acquired this textile in 1996 for its collection of Southeast Asian textiles, a key collection of the Asian Civilisations Museum. Elephant patolu of this style are extremely rare and are an important part of Southeast Asia's textile history so it was deemed important to acquire this artefact. 
Copyright
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Acknowledgements
David Alan Henkel 
Owner
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum 
Credit line
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 

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