Thursday, February 15, 2007

Without wings they fly around the world;
without hands they carry the polo ball off the field.

That dervish who caught the scent of Reality
used to weave baskets even though his hands had been cut off.

Just a little Rumi to set you dreaming about this Persian polo players print. The colors are a very nicely nuanced turquoise blue scale. I like that the horses are almost smaller than the riders and have the patina of the blue tiles that adorn the entrance to the Jamé Mosque in Isfahan. I like the bands of stylized flowers that separate the lines of players, and the crackle background. It is a medium (B 36, W 30-31) with current bids at only $19.50. But I believe this dress is from the mid 60s, and not the 50s as listed by the seller.

Wear this dress to whirl with the Sufis. With flashes of green in the print, I’d crack out my jade bracelets and necklaces.

Can you navigate the invisible?
Feel the polestar though blindfolded?

That’s not Rumi, just some doggerel from me. I found my current vintage novelty print holy grail. But it has protected photos, so I can’t show you pictures. I’ll do my best to describe it to you, especially since the link to the photos will be gone in a few days after it’s sold.

A chess print dress. Early 1960s, small (B34, W25), ¾ sleeves, high neck, original belt pleated shirt. The chess pieces are arrayed in horizontal lines separated with muted purple bands of grey diamonds. While it is difficult to ascertain the exact colors from the photos, the pieces are shown in wide horizontal stripes and 4 different color scales: cream on saffron, cream on deep azure, grey on saffron, deep azure on cream, and deep azure on saffron. The pieces themselves are large and detailed. The rooks show stone turrets flying flags and supported by elephants. Knights are shown mounted on horses. Kings are marvelously mustached. All the pieces feature bold designs of interlocking diamonds that border on abstraction. The Bishops in particular show the influence of African masks and design.

I have been searching for chess prints for the past three years. This is the 4th one I have seen. And I don’t mean chess included in a games and gambling motif which is more common. I mean chess alone by itself. I’ve seen two shirts, and one pair of pajama bottoms. This is the only chess print dress I have seen. And trust me, I looked everywhere. It is rare and the current bid is a pittance: $7.99

Please buy this dress. It’s too small for me, but you are svelte. You go fabulous places, maybe even Isfahan. You could wear this on difficult days when you need to be 4 or 5 moves ahead of everyone else.


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