VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Child's coat
VK6203-769a
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This threadbare, patched coat, earlier owned and used by a young poor Afghan boy, is an extremely touching museum object. Museums seldom own such a throughly worn-out piece of clothing. It also tells about an unusual Finnish collector, Tero Kiiskinen (1948–1996). He valued and appreciated objects more for their structure, patina or touching qualities than for perfection or monetary value. Travelling on a small budget, the collector could not even have set out to obtain expensive items. As an artist, Kiiskinen would immediately recognize from the mass of items in an antiques or junk shop, a strange or tattered piece that corresponded to his taste but which had been unnoticed by many others. In the evenings he would open his bundles of treasures, spreading them out on a hotel-room table or floor and arranging them in new ways according to colour, structure or style (see the attached photo).

History of the Object
This coat was bought by Tero Kiiskinen (1948–1996), a Finnish stage designer in Band-i-Amir, Afghanistan in 1976. Kiiskinen spent a total of six years, between 1975-1995, travelling in different parts of Asia. He travelled several months in Afghanistan in 1976 and 1977. In the attached photo by Jukka Miettinen Tero Kiiskinen is in Band-i-Amir. Kiiskinen collected artefacts on all his trips. Packed in bundles, crammed suitcases and postal packages, an astounding collection of textiles, sculpture, paintings, artware, manuscripts, toys and even trash found its way to Finland. According to his friend and co-traveller, Jukka Miettinen, they met two boys in Band-i-Amir. Kiiskinen wanted to buy the younger boy´s coat. The boy hesitated to sell his old worn-out coat, but the older boy understood that it was a good deal and they sold it.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Cotton, quilted, patched, with a printed fabric lining 
Measurements
Width 64 cm Length 37 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Afghanistan 
Geography
Afghanistan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
Before 1976 
Function
Clothing of an Afghan boy in Band-i-Amir 
Acquisition
Bequeathed to the National Museum of Finland by Tero Kiiskinen in 1996. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Text by Eija-Maija Kotilainen Photos Markku Haverinen, 2003, Tero Kiiskinen, 1976, Jukka Miettinen, 1976. 
Owner
State property, National Board of Antiquities, Finland 
Museum
Museum of Cultures, National Museum of Finland 
Credit line
 

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