Lakai Embroidery, Central Asia, 19th Century, 1’ 1” x 1’ 4”

The so-called “shield” format of embroidery (pentagonal shaped) is a common  one, as they are thought to have been decorative textiles adorning the walls of the yurts or homes of the Lakai from Central Asia. The design type seen here, while not unknown by any means, is a very desirable type and certainly not one of the more common ones either. 

The bold device in the center topped with rams horns containing boteh forms is a rather graphic design.  The extensions in red silk emanating from this device contribute a dynamic quality that would otherwise not be present; without them, the embroidery would not be so visually active. 

The colors are derived from natural dyes (except for the presence of a purple dye, typical of the period from which it originates), the condition is good, not pristine by any means but good enough as whatever minor blemishes can be seen (the top edge is a slightly worn) do not interfere with appreciating the classic art of the Lakai.

For further information on this piece, you may contact Thomas Cole