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Tent

Category

Textiles

Date

1725 - 1750

Materials

Printed cotton chintz, undyed cotton, bamboo, metal and leather

Measurements

2080 mm (H); 1140 mm (W)

Place of origin

India

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Collection

Powis Castle and Garden, Powys (Accredited Museum)

NT 1180731.1

Caption

This tent was used by Tipu Sultan as his headquarters in the field while he made progresses about his territories. It was amongst the Indian relics acquired by the 2nd Lord Clive while he was Governor of Madras. At Powis it was used as a marquee for garden parties held by the family.

Summary

A wall panel from Tipu Sultan's tent. Cotton chintz with a white ground, patterned with acanthus cusped niches, each enclosing a central vase with symmetrical flower arrangement, predominantly in reds and greens, the green achieved by over-painting dyed indigo with yellow (a fugative pigment which has partially disappeared). An enlarged version of the flower-head motif appears in the main horizontal borders on a green ground, and scaled down on a yellow ground in the spandrels of the arch. Triple vertical borders separate the panels, at each end of which is a metal eyelet that has been whipped with thick cotton thread. A black and white merlon and rosette band runs along the top of the qanats. The outside of the tent is a seperate layer of coarse white cotton. Later Mughal, c.1725-50. See Mildred Archer, Christopher Rowell, Robert Skelton, 'Treasures from India', The Herbert Press in association with The National Trust, 1987, cat. 131, pp. 95-96. Exhibited: 'Master Dyers to the World', The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., 1982, no.7. The tent has an area of 58.5 sq.m.

Provenance

Acquired by Edward Clive 2nd Lord Clive (1752-1839), following the defeat of Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the fall of Seringapatam in 1799. Brought to Powis Castle from Walcot Hall in 1930. Purchased by the National Trust from the Earl of Powis and the Powis estate trustees, with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, August 1999. According to Accounts the 'Clive Tent' was repaired 31st October 1895 by Eldred Motham & Co at the cost of £1.18s.6d.

Exhibition history

The Fabric of India, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2015 - 2016, no.131

References

The Fabric of India (Ed. Rosemary Crill), the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 3rd October 2015 to 10 January 2016., cat. 131

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