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Antique Pictorial Nakshi Kantha Embroidery

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  • £1,800.00
  • €2,085 Euro
  • $2,158 US Dollar

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Item Description

Fine and rare Pictorial Kantha, Bengal, Late 19th/early 20th Century. From the collection of artist Carol Summers. Cotton on layered cotton. Ref: Yet Another Treasury of Indian Folk Textiles, Carol Summers, 2013, Page 18. Size: 130 x 185 cm (4'3'' x 6'1'').

Originally made from old, recycled fabrics, the traditional kantha cloth (from the Sanskrit word kontha, meaning rags) is an example of 'flat', or unwadded quilting, worked on multiple layers of fabric. Bengali kantha cloths were made by women for use in their own homes as bedcovers, mats and all-purpose wrappers. The stitching consists of embroidered patterns, ranging from simple floral motifs to elaborate scenes, combined with running-stitch quilting in a colour matching the background fabric.

This piece, an unusually large and beautifully executed example, features an array of wonderfully drawn animals, people, trees and abstract forms in a bold design and striking, harmonized palette. With no losses or loose threads to the embroidery and strong colour throughout, it is in overall very good condition for it’s age. There are a couple of old repairs, scattered stains and wear to the edges. Please refer to the images/video, extra images here

Provenance: The Carol Summers Collection of Indian Folk Textiles. Carol Summers was a well known American printmaker who traveled extensively in India and Nepal to build his collection of folk textiles between 1976 and 2013. The vibrancy of colour and bold expression of these textiles was a clear and important influence on his own work. You can see Carol talking about this particular piece here (at approx 4:42 in the video)

UK shipping is £35 with standard parcel courier. Please contact for International shipping quote

Item Info



Seller Location

London, UK

Item Dimensions

H:185cm W:130cm D:0cm


circa 1900

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

United Kingdom

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)7530 381491