6288

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Kutch Embroidered Bodice (Choli)

Cutchhi Bhanushali or Bansali People, Kutch, Gujarat, India
early 20th century

length: 92cm, width from sleeve to sleeve: 103cm

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Provenance

UK art market

This fabulous and very decorative bodice jacket or choli is from the Cutchhi Bhanushali (Bansali) People of the Kutch region, above Bombay (Mumbai). It is richly and finely decorated over a cotton substrate with mirrored glass panels, sequins, colourful hand-stitching and couching, and applied colourful silk panels. Two cords hanging from the neck opening to allow the opening to be pulled tighter.

The  Cutchhi Bhanushali are part of a broader Bhanushali group that traditionally lived mostly in Gujarat. They are a Hindu agrarian community.

The item is in excellent condition. There are no repairs and no insect holes of fading. The orange silk panels along the sides have some fraying and deterioration as might be expected (silk is light sensitive). But the backing material is similarly coloured so the fraying is not so noticeable.

Overall, this is a fine, museum-quality piece.

References

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

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