Pashmina: The Kashmir Shawl and Beyond

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Antique Collectors Club Limited, 2009 - Art - 324 pages
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The first major study of the subject, aimed at an academic as well as a general readership Illustrated with superb images collected over the years by the authors Kashmir has an enduring claim to the attention of lovers of beauty, with its breathtaking landscapes. It is also home to the Kashmir shawl, which at its finest was among the most exquisite textiles ever woven, the product of consummate artistry and skill applied to Pashmina, one of the most delicate fibres in the world. More than that, for at least three centuries, the shawl's excellence and worth made it the center of a huge and complex commercial operation involving, in its heyday, tens of thousands of people, and extending from Tibet to the marts of west Asia, Europe and America. Coveted by Mughal emperors and Sikh maharajas, Iranian nobles, Armenian merchants, French empresses, British aristocrats and, eventually, the prosperous bourgeoisie created on both sides of the Atlantic by the Industrial Revolution, it inspired any number of imitations, but none that could even approach the delicacy and charm of the original. This is the first major study of the subject, aimed at an academic as well as a general readership. The objective is to combine a well researched and accessibly written text with carefully chosen illustrations that will complement the text and bring it to life."

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Pashmina : the Kashmir shawl and beyond is an authoritative study introduces the Kashmir shawl as a cultural artefact with a known history spanning four centuries, and a geographical reference from Tibet to the United States.
Lavishly illustrated and accessibly written, this book has much to offer textile scholars, and those interested in the history of Kashmir, or of India's material culture or its pre-modern trade. It will go also delight anyone who has ever owned or admired a shawl from Kashmir.


Preface and Acknowledgements
The Goats

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About the author (2009)

Janet Rizvi, freelance writer and researcher graduated with a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge. She has spent many years in Jammu and Kashmir. She has contributed the chapter The Asian Trade in Kashmir Shawls to Textiles from India, The Global Trade (Rosemary Crill, ed., 2005); and is a contributor to The Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion(forthcoming) 2009.

Monisha Ahmed spent many years living among the Rupshu-pa - the nomadic herdspeople of Ladakh's southeastern high-altitude plateaux - researching their lifestyle with special reference to their textiles. Her book, Living Fabric, Weaving among the Nomads of Ladakh Himalaya (2002), based on her Oxford D Phil thesis, won the 2003 Shep award of the Textile Society of America for the best book on ethnic textiles.

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