Fragment (India), mid- 19th century
This is a Fragment. It is dated mid- 19th century and we acquired it in 1931. Its medium is cotton ground, beetle elytra, gold foil strips, gilt sequins, gold metal-wrapped silk thread. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.
The iridescent elytra, or wing casings, of the Buprestidae Jewel beetle have been used for centuries to adorn clothing and jewelry in India. In the 19th century, an export trade developed around Calcutta, where gossamer-fine cotton muslins were embroidered with gold threads and beetle wing “sequins.”
This object was
Sarah Cooper Hewitt.
It is credited
Gift of Sarah Cooper Hewitt.
Our curators have highlighted 6 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:
Its dimensions are
24.2 x 17.3 cm (9 1/2 x 6 13/16 in. )
Cite this object as
Fragment (India), mid- 19th century; cotton ground, beetle elytra, gold foil strips, gilt sequins, gold metal-wrapped silk thread; 24.2 x 17.3 cm (9 1/2 x 6 13/16 in. ); Gift of Sarah Cooper Hewitt; 1931-43-20
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.