Floor Cover (Afghanistan)

Floor cover from Afghanistan, mid-19th century. Floor cover from Afghanistan, mid-19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum, acc. no. 2014,6010.1.

The British Museum in London houses a floor cover that was acquired in Afghanistan in the mid-nineteenth century.  It measures 635 x 93.5 cm and is made of cotton with silk thread embroidery worked in chain stitch with an ari hook. The floral motifs include the buteh or paisley motif, well-known from Kashmir weaves and embroideries.

The floor cover was acquired in Afghanistan by Major John Goodday Strutt Gilland (1791-1848), who served with the Second Queen's Royal Regiment in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838-1842) and who played a prominent role at the siege of Ghazni in the summer of 1839 (the town was taken by the British on 23 July 1839). The cloth was allegedly made for Dost Muhammad Khan (1793-1863), ruler of Afghanistan and the father of Ghulam Haidar Khan, the governor of Ghazni at the time of the British siege.

See the entry on a mid-nineteenth century lithograph of Ghulam Haidar Khan, with the fortress and the two minarets of Ghazni, and the TRC digital exhibition Dressing The Stans: Textiles, Dress and Jewellery from Central Asia (TRC, Leiden, 2017).

British Museum online catalogue  (retrieved 12 January 2017).


Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 08:36
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