Man's sash (patka)
late 17th or early 18th century
Object Place: Kashmir, India
Overall: 67 x 203.2 cm (26 3/8 x 80 in.)
Medium or Technique
Wool twill tapestry-weave
Not On View
Sash (patka) of deep red (cochineal) wool twill tapestry with border design on each end of six boteh motifs with blossoms formed by Chinese-style clouds in blue, green, yellow and white.
An important element of male courtly attire in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century India, the patka or girdle played a symbolic and decorative role comparable to the necktie today. Often the most lavishly decorated component of a man’s formal dress, the patka tied at the waist with the ends hanging toward the knees. The length of the ends and the position of the knot changed according to the fashions of the times. The ends of the patka, known as the pallakas, tend to be more elaborately and sumptuously ornamented than the central area, with lavish embroidery and metal thread. Because rulers often granted patkas as token of esteem, the sashes became symbols of political status as well as emblems of wealth and good taste.
Gift from Mrs. William Tudor Gardiner to the MFA on December 9, 1964
Gift of Mrs. William Tudor Gardiner