Inventory no.: 3407

Antique Benares Silk Sari


Extremely Fine Woven Silk Sari

Banares, India

circa 1900

length: 495cm, width: 110cm

This very fine sari of woven brocaded silk and gold metallic thread is from Banares (today also known as Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh), which was known for producing the finest brocaded saris in India.

The patterning is all supplementary-weft work and shows heavy Mughal influence with its mix of flowers within a trellissed framework and a very fine register of vases of flowers separated by columns and beneath Mughal-inspired arches.

The colours, with their influence on green and gold, appeal very much to the Indian Muslim market. Other colours are deep blue and orange-red.

The condition of this sari is excellent. It is as bright and colourful as they day it was made. There is no insect damage. There is just one small darned repair despite being almost five metres long. It was acquired in the UK and most probably has been in the UK for the last hundred years, hence its excellent condition.


Crill, R., (ed.), The Fabric of India, V&A Publishing, 2015.

Lynton, L.,

The Sari: Styles, Patterns, History, Techniques, Thames & Hudson, 1995.Provenance:

UK art market

Inventory no.: 3407