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Panel And Fragments (India)

This is a Panel and fragments. It is dated 19th century and we acquired it in 1931. Its medium is cotton, beetle elytra, foil strips, metallic yarns, sequins and its technique is embroidered on plain weave foundation. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Valued for their iridescent blue-green-purple color, the wing casings, or elytra, of the Buprestidae Jewel Beetle have been used for centuries to adorn clothing and jewelry in India, among both indigenous groups like the Naga, as well as in Mughal court costume. In the 19th century an export trade developed around Calcutta, where gossamer-fine cotton muslins were embroidered with gold threads and beetle wing "sequins," bringing a taste of the exotic to fashionable European ladies.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Wearing Wings.

This object was donated by Sarah Cooper Hewitt. It is credited Gift of Sarah Cooper Hewitt.

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  • Gift of Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • 2015-23-2

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Vase
  • mouth-blown favrile glass.
  • Gift of Stanley Siegel, from the Stanley Siegel Collection.
  • 1975-32-9

Its dimensions are

H x W (A): 36.8 × 214 cm (14 1/2 in. × 7 ft. 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Panel And Fragments (India); cotton, beetle elytra, foil strips, metallic yarns, sequins; H x W (A): 36.8 × 214 cm (14 1/2 in. × 7 ft. 1/4 in.); Gift of Sarah Cooper Hewitt; 1931-25-1-a/d

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Panel And Fragments (India) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>