The Great Embroideries of Bukhara
beginning of the 19th century or earlier
161 x 264 cm (5ft 3in x 8ft 8in)
silk embroidery, predominantly in basma technique, on a cotton foundation
Design type E
A narrow central field contains an hexagonal medallion and side- and top-view flowers in the corners, or an hexagonal medallion and the four corners filled in with embroidery to form a rectangle. The field is enclosed by a wide primary border, often as broad as the field, which is flanked by narrow minor borders. Five examples known.
As with type D, the central field of these five suzani is only about one-third of the overall width. The primary border is flanked by a guard stripe that is either partially or fully embroidered. Two of this type, E1 and E2, have an hexagonal medallion with the typical long stems meeting at each end and top- or side-view flowers at the corners of the field. In E1, in a private collection, the edges of the medallion are scalloped and it is surrounded by a continuous line of gold spiralling; E2, in the Vok Collection, has buds and leaves protruding from the perimeter of the medallion and no gold spiralling.
The pattern of E3, which is illustrated here for the first time, is very similar to E1 and E2, but the remainder of the field around the flowers in the corners is completely covered with embroidery, giving the effect of one huge rectangular medallion, as seen in type C. A similar effect is achieved on an example in a private collection on Long Island, New York, E4. An hexagonal medallion is formed by the central part of the two long sides of the field and four long stems. Beyond these stems, each of the corners of the field - which do not contain flowers - are filled in with red embroidery, to create a rectangle.
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2000, unless otherwise stated: