Eastern Treasures – Zadah Gallery Asian Art In London Exhibition
During the month of November (2011) the city of London became Asian, or at least those sectors concerned with antique and contemporary art did. Asian Art, a collective of Asian art societies, galleries, museums, and auction houses annually organizes a menu of events including major auctions, exhibitions, events, and sales. In keeping with this annual Asian invasion Zadah’s Antique Textiles Gallery hosted an exhibition, Eastern Treasures (curated by Sarah Haberkern) that treated us with an overview of textiles spanning most Asian regions. Zadah, who has built his reputation with numerous previous textile exhibitions, dipped into his family’s collection to augment this show’s Asian mission. One of these special treats was a pair of 17/18th century embroidered panels (see background in the ‘gallery team’ image below) with an impressive provenance having previously been in the collection of Tate Gallery’s founder, Sir Henry Tate.
The family subsequently donated the panels to a charity auction whereupon it entered the public domain only to disappear again into the Zadah family collection. The inspiration for this genre of textile, characterized by unusually refined realistic articulation, seems to be Dutch botanical lexica. Indeed trade between the two countries was well established at this time. The popularity of this style can be traced to the 4th Moghul Emperor, Jahangir, after his return from his royal gardens. This particular pair was probably woven specifically for export to the Netherlands where they were most likely employed as curtains. They are in an excellent state of preservation.
The opening of Easter Treasure was well attended by an enthusiastic group of appreciative visitors. In the course of the evening lively conversation and discourse on the material engendered new perspectives and discoveries. Topical stimulation was provided by exquisite kesis, outstanding Ming textiles, a beautiful Resht, and a group of Safavid textiles that adorned the gallery. Perhaps the most discussed textile was a Moghul summer carpet. These rare embroideries consist of elaborate flowers rendered in silk satin stitch and couched metal thread. This particular example, be it Goan or Deccan, is related to a similar example in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The V & A piece is said to have belonged to Tipu Sultan of Mysore, who died in the battle of Seringapatam in 1799. Typical for the type, both examples display an oval medallion with radiating flowering stems, quarter medallion corners, and borders with floral meanders.
The exhibition will be reviewed by HALI where perhaps you might out more about one the earliest Ghiordes rug and a beautiful West Anatolian rug that were included in the show.