See Irwin, John and Hall, Margaret, Indian Painted and Printed Fabrics, Ahmedabad, 1971, Chp.III, Tent- Hangings, Floorspreads and Coverlets, pp.22-35, Nos, 20-22, pl.10-11, for discussion of tent hangings and examples of cotton, block printed and painted tent panels, from a larger set, North India, 18th century, one of which has the distinctive flowering plant emanating from a vase with fruit, and has the small cloud band (lotas) motifs in the lower corner, along with two wild animals. It is noted that two of the panels were cut into separate pieces and resewn together, and considering their structure, use and age, this is not surprising. These example share the use of shallow cusped niche format, albeit of longer format, whereas the present panels are smaller. The above and present examples include a simplified flower motif and leaves in the corner spandrels.
For a Qanat tent panel example, which is predominantly ivory, with red applique above the niche cusp, possibly Jaipur, 18th century (132 by 110cm), which is the same technique, (in this example comprising joined appliquéd sections), and shorter in height, see Sotheby’s, London, 27 April 2005, lot 1. For examples of more diminuitive scale of niche, composed in a repeat pattern separated by columns and clearly influenced by architecture, see a pair of Mughal prayer rugs, wool pile, India, late 17th/early 18th century, see Spuhler, Friedrich, Islamic Carpets and Textiles in the Keir Collections, London, 1978, Nos. 64&65, p.128, pls.p.123 (Acquired 1974). As the compostion is horizontal, these too are shorter niches, and similar to the present panels, are against a red ground. These pile rugs allude to the extent of the inspiration of the motifs. For a discussion and examples in embroidery, see Crill, Rosemary, Indian Embroidery, V&A publications, London, 1999, Nos.24 &25, pp.16, 42-43, of similar inspiration of the late 17th century. Interestingly the tent panels did not always depict flowering shrubs, and examples with monumental standing figures in a niches are known, for example a tent panel with standing figure of woman in profile, Mughal, perhaps Fatehpur Sikri, late 16th century, woven (red, green, orange and yellow) silk lampas (182 by 151cm), in the Nasser D Khalili Collection (Inv. Txt (IND) 17) and a companion piece of a male figure in Persian costume holding a cup (now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
For another Qanat tent panel in this sale, see lot 374.
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