Tuesday, July 06, 2010

This stunning Persian print on cotton is available here. Bidding ends in 5 days, and it is a size medium. This ebay find was inspired by the many beautiful Persian-art influenced prints that Ms. Vintage Voyager has on her blog. And she has done the research to determine where the textile designers found their inspiration, which utterly delights me.

One of the many things to love about this print are the expressions on the faces. The courtiers who whisper behind the seated nobleman, the oud-player's bearded serenade. I love the upright pears that one of the women carries on a tray. I love that the blue sky with soaring birds is perfectly placed at the neckline. I am very curious as to what is on the back of this dress. The pattern moves into what appears to be a print of stylized trees on a goldenrod background along the sides, which help accentuate the waist, something a sack dress can always use.

I have only seen Persian minature inspired prints on cotton twice before. Once on ebay and once at the Fairfax flea market in Los Angeles, so I believe this is a rare one. But perhaps someone else has seen this before? I have a lot of Asian art on Polyester, as I am a sucker for photo prints and have started my very own Polyester Museum of Art. I've got a lovely Persian minature print tunic in an orange color way on Polyester, but it lacks the fine details that you see here. I have a Waltah Clarke Persian print on rayon though and that one is a show stopper. I love when Hawaiian dresses meet Middle Eastern and East Asian art, especially with the work of "Master Printer" Alfred Shaheen (though sadly his frocks are often cut too narrow in the hips for me). I've long threatened to photograph my own collection and post them here, and now that I've got a tripod and some lovely summer light, I better get to it.

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Blogger Under Urooba's Umbrella! said...

This print is really beautiful.

2:08 PM  
Blogger samsara said...

Hello, Ms. Under Urooba's Umbrella, so nice to see you here!

I think this frock would look lovely with many Maximalist accessories.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Vintage Voyager said...

I *love* this pattern and this dress - thanks for the namecheck!

Alas, I was away travelling when this auction finished, otherwise I might have had a shot at it. To tell you the truth, though, I think I already have this colorway (there's a bit of digging in suitcases to do, so as to check...).

Anyway, I do have a slightly different design of dress with this print (different firm - interesting that this is a Flair), and also a fragment of the same textile print, in a second colorway, which an Etsy seller had made into a tote bag. I convo'ed her to ask if she'd re-purposed a dress but got no answer. Must post these soon to compare to this one. I've hesitated as I haven't found the manuscript inspiration...

There seems to have been a small genre of these, connected to a phase of using assorted 'art prints' on broad lengths of cotton in and around Miami. I've seen almost-Dutch-flower-paintings too, and a couple of Japanese landscapes. Flair also used the more precisely copied Nizami's Khamsa image for a more shaped shift (you know the post!).

I'd love to see your Waltah Clarke - it's always worth wondering whether Shaheen was behind any Hawaiian Middle Eastern prints, I wonder whether there's a story there relating to his Lebanese heritage.

4:45 AM  
Blogger hollyhaha said...

Yes1 Yes! Photos of your collection. With you in them would be best.

7:56 PM  
Blogger samsara said...

Hello Ms. Vintage Voyager!

I just checked out your wonderful post about the different colorways for this print. Thanks so much for assembling them, it is so fun to compare and contrast and see all the possibilities.

A Dutch-Flower painting or Japanese print on a cotton shift dress would be just my thing! Those sound super lovely. I shall be on the lookout.

I too have wondered about Shaheen and the Lebanese heritage connection in terms of his Middle Eastern style prints. However, in some of the prints I've seen with writing on Shaheen dresses, the Arabic was up- side-down! So clearly just a stylistic element (perhaps a misprint?).

I hope to photograph my Waltah Clarke dress and post it soon! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

Dear Ms. Hollyhaha,

I'll try to do a little modeling, if no one else objects. As soon as the thermometer dips enough to make it possible.

3:12 PM  

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