Wedding Coat for an Afghani Man
From eastern Afghanistan, possibly Nuristan, or Paktia Province, near the border with Pakistan, this ornate man’s coat is a superb example of its genre. Made of a heavy, thickly woven fabric that appears to be wool mixed with hemp, it is embellished with heavy silk embroidery, mirrors and beads, fine golden ribbon, golden braid, gold-wrapped thread, and panels of velvet. Stylized flowers and Tree Of Life motifs predominate in the embroidery, forming an overall graphically-pleasing composition on both sides. This was obviously a labor of love, as sewing on the thick fabric was not easy; most stitching is by hand (suzani), but some was by machine. We think it is probably from the mid-20th century. The inside shows a little wear, and there is one hole and some discoloration on the front of the left sleeve (see detail), but overall the condition is very good. Other examples can be seen in the Textile Museum of Canada’s online collection. This could be easily worn, as well as handsomely displayed on a wall.
Size: 62 in. cuff to cuff x 26.5 in. across chest x 31.5 in. shoulder to hem