A Marvelously Decorated Rajasthani Bag: Couching and Mirrors
ca. mid twentieth century
11 1/4" x 7 1/4", 28.25 cm x 18.5 cm
So beautiful--and almost Byzantine in its appearance, decoration and coloration--this small envelope-shaped bag was made in Rajasthan, India.
The style of couched embroidery is called mochi bharat. This kind of ornamentation was usually worked on leather items, such as shoes, belts and saddles, but as the demand for this kind of work fell off, those that have been born into families who do this work have also started couching cloth and making bags.
This one is beautiful: it shimmers, and it is somehow dark and dazzling at the same time. The expert and minuscule stitches used to create the elaborate gold and silver metallic couching is mindbending. The overall design is simply beautiful.
You will notice a bit of staining to the back of the bag: pay special attention to the lower left quadrant to see this plainly.
However it is the skill and complexity of the workmanship that completely overshadows any kind of surface flaw.
This little bag is a real delicacy and a terribly beautiful thing to own.