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So rare, c1790's Jamdanee [Jamdani] fichu - kerchief

So rare, c1790's Jamdanee [Jamdani] fichu - kerchief

I think I may have been a little over-enthusiastic with the pricing of this piece! It is such a beauty though. Price reduced -quality still superb!


From the Mary Ireland collection, with her notation - see blog.

' The fabric is so delicate that a piece 10 yards long and 1 yard wide can pass through a wedding band' 'Jamdani Weaving History' Archive - newspaper.

'Threads of wind'

'Most prized article amongst traders even centuries ago

Quotes taken from article named above.

The moment I touched and saw this kerchief - fichu, I knew it was something very special. This muslin is the finest I have ever seen, appearing as if it will melt before one's eyes at any minute. The Key border is unusual, simple but beautiful, and it was only on researching Mary's note including the description 'Indian - Jamdanee' that I could explain why this is such a special piece.

Jamdanee is Mary's spelling, but on looking into it, Jamdanee is also Jamdani; the finest of muslin cloths woven in India over Centuries, until the Indian muslin trade diminished in the early 19th Century. Jamdani is particularly known for the embroidery work you see all around the edges of this muslin cloth, in a 'key' design. At first sight, one may think it weaving, but we learn that it is actually true embroidery, using the finest of shuttles to pass through the muslin, thus creating the design. The work is tiny. Very skilled indeed.

I am dating the kerchief to the circa 1790's because of this design. Mary describes it as a Key pattern, which of course lead to the Greek Key pattern we all recognise in the early Regency era. The Greek Key symobised the era in fact, because all fashion in the Western World followed the classical Greek. Place an early Regency dress into an ancient Greek setting and it would blend in perfectly!

So, here we have the very finest muslin, with an amazing embroidery border. Not enough though! To two edges, we then have 18th Century fine Valenicennes lace in such a pretty pattern, so typical of the 1790's.

The terminology of Jamdanee seems to have come from:

Jama - Cloth

Dana - Woven motif.

This cloth is so appreciated that there is lots to find with a Google search.

Mary's notes? Well, first, this delightful pieces was a gift to her from a named person of 90 years of age. Then she has written: 'Fichu with key design at edge. Indian. Lace fine Valenciennes 18th Century. Jamdanee 18thC.'

It is the finest muslin you will ever hold! [I say that!]




    Fine late 18th Century condition. Lovely colour with one tiny star shaped spot stain. A cluster of little holes to the centre of the muslin. See photograph. Remarkable given the diaphanous nature of the muslin.

    The size is 42" square. Lace flounce at edge 2" deep.

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