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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
MYSTERY ALERT Finally found time to photograph some new additions. The most exciting are not per se, or exclusively, the ones that score the highest points in terms of aesthetics. Take this one for instance. Rather basic design, 19th C. (information by seller, but certainly does look it, perhaps older), and no idea where it is from. That is to say: it was labeled Eastern Adonara. But of course it does not look like any Adonara most people, including me, know. I sent a rough first photo to Georges Breguet hoping he could place it. And surprise, surprise he has a similar one. With different design, but very similar, and also all built up out of stipples. His was acquired in Kedang on Lembata (where there was a taboo on weaving).

Now where these actually made? The stippling reminds one very strongly of Ili Mandiri, where this technique is used in the kenirek miten, the sarongs for daily life (that are supposedly so common, but actually quite hard to find). Ili Mandiri is just across a half mile wide strait from Adonara, so that might explain how the technique travelled. But the design is richer than is common on kenirek miten, and on my example the largest motif actually is similar to a motif used on Roti. I have never seen another one besides George's, nor has George seen another one besides mine. Both have the same purple and cyclamen accent stripes in what appears to be silk. A colour that we don't often see, and certainly not on Adonara. Almost certainly made with mauvine or methyl violet, the earliest chemical dyes, used since mid 19th C.

In other words what we have here is a real mystery. Anyone who knows more about this is kindly invited to share her/his wisdom. More on my website at http://www.ikat.us/ikat_209.php Click on the magnifier for the high resolution image, which I shall post right after this.


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FB_IMG_1438288797228.jpg
FB_IMG_1438288797228.jpg [ 67.68 KiB | Viewed 6652 times ]

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear all,

As you can tell, I have been waiting to find out what ikat I got into my hands for almost seven months now. But suddenly some days ago while I visited the online archives of Klefisch auction house to look for some Raijua cloth that I knew they sold years ago, I decided to browse around through the menu to see what else they had sold in their glory years, and saw that they had also handled Palué ikat. As I had in vain tried to get one for the last year, I took a peek to see what they sold back then, and received a jolt when I noticed patterns very similar to those on my mystery cloth (and those on Georges Breguet's). Now while Klefisch (unfortunately now defunct, but archives fortunately kept online by Van Ham) had a deserved reputation for being thorough, I was hesitant with jubilation. They might of course have gotten the piece wrong. So I then did a wider search for images of Palué sarongs. And sure enough I did find two more that confirmed the Klefisch designation of origin. I show them in order. The bottom piece is Georges Breguet's specimen.

Attachment:
File comment: Palué, probably 1950-1960, sold at Klefisch 2002
Ikat - Palue - Klefisch Auktion 95 Lot 104.jpg
Ikat - Palue - Klefisch Auktion 95 Lot 104.jpg [ 114.25 KiB | Viewed 6202 times ]

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File comment: Palué, Mid 20th C. National Gallery of Australia
Ikat - Palue - mid 20th C. - NGA 86.1921.jpg
Ikat - Palue - mid 20th C. - NGA 86.1921.jpg [ 96.31 KiB | Viewed 6202 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Palué, probably modern, in village Mitunglea, found on Baltyra.com
Ikat - Palue - Tama - Baltyra.com.jpg
Ikat - Palue - Tama - Baltyra.com.jpg [ 104.9 KiB | Viewed 6202 times ]



I believe the evidence to be overwhelming - though not beyond all doubt because of the absence of true cognates with certified provenance. Most striking in the presence of what appears to be a simple, rather angular emulation of patola jilamprang. Now we are faced with an very interesting question. Not quite a mystery, but close: the two oldest known Palué sarongs, the one in George Breguet’s collection and mine, both have ikat in white on saturated indigo, and cyclamen and violet stripes done in chemical dyes. Nota bene chemical dyes of an early type not used anywhere else in the archipelago. The Palué women who made these cloths, probably between 1875 and 1910, used Perkins violet, also known as mauvine and aniline purple, which was discovered in 1854 – the world’s first synthetic dye. It is quite miraculous that these chemicals made it to Palué, but not to any of the surrounding islands. Very likely it is the result of the climate: Palué has a dry season that lasts for nine months, during which time the go men wandering across the seas to look for seasonal work and commercial opportunities. The would sail very far, making use of a very steady distribution of winds: east for months on end, then west for months on end. So they may well have the Perkins violet or aniline on Java or Sumatra where in the late 19th C. the Dutch were introducing various technical innovations, notably in textile production and printing, both industries that enthusiastically picked up on aniline – as well as on fuchsine, a little to the red side of the spectrum, which was discovered four years later. Wherever the Palué men got these dyes, they apparently kept them exclusive for their own womenfolk, who used it to give their sarongs spectacular dashes of bright, intense colour.

Interestingly, both GB's example were found on the route a prahu would follow when sailing east from Palué in an easterly direction, i.e. towards the Solor and Alor Archipelago and from there perhaps on towards Timor and the South Moluccas. Mine had a lable saying it came from East Adonara, his saying it came from Kedang - where, and this again is interesting, indigo, rather than morinda is de rigueur for bridewealth sarongs. There is a whole lot more to say about this, but that is a chapter in itself.

More detail on this cloth at: http://ikat.us/ikat_209.php

Enjoy,
Peter

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Peter ten Hoopen
www.ikat.us

PUSAKA COLLECTION: ONLINE MUSEUM OF TRADITIONAL INDONESIAN IKAT TEXTILES


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