Antique Burmese Kalaga Tapestry Horse beaded Sequined Pillow.
Missing a few beads but in excellent condition.
23 x 23”
This Hand embroidered and beaded Kalaga Tapestry featuring a Warrior riding an
elephant is antique Burmese from the late 1800's to early 1900's. It is
unmounted. There are a few beads missing in the edge trim shown in photos and
sequin damage to a small section of the bottom left foot of the elephant on the
left. Please see all photos for full description and ask for more photos if
needed. This piece measures 24" by 24". It is in original antique as in found
Estate condition, I have not cleaned it at all. Gorgeous piece of hand work! I
think the best way to ship this is flat but I can also roll it with cotton
batting to protect the beads and put in a tube but if you have another
suggestion please let me know.
Kalaga (Burmese) is a heavily embroidered appliqué
tapestry made of silk, flannel, felt, wool and lace against a background made
of cotton or velvet indigenous to Burma (Myanmar). The word kalaga, which means
curtain," comes from the Burmese language, although Burmese refer to such
tapestries as shwe gyi do; lit. "gold thread embroidery").
These tapestries use a sewing technique called shwe gyi
This art form emerged during the Konbaung dynasty in the mid-19th century and
reached its zenith during the reign of Mindon Min, when velvet became
fashionable at the royal court.
In a typical tapestry, padded figures are cut from various types of cloth and
sewn onto a background, usually red or black cloth to form an elaborate scene,
traditionally from Burmese classical plays (e.g. Ramayana, Jataka).
The figures are sewn using a combination of metallic and plain threads and
adorned with sequins, beads and glass stones.
Kalaga" is the traditional name for embroidered tapestries from Myanmar
Burma). This style comes from the Mandalay region and the tradition goes back
more than a century.
They are generally made from linen, silk, velvet and cotton adorned with plain
and metallic threads, metal sequins, beads and glass "stones."
Kalagas commonly depict stories from the Jataka (Buddha's journey towards
enlightenment) and the Ramayana (Hindu epic Journey of King Rama) as well as
historical scenes, lucky animals and signs of the zodiac. Like the decorations
you might see in an ornate Burmese temple, Kalagas are awash in colorful and
Most Kalagas are best hung in a frame but not under glass so that the detail
and texture can be fully appreciated. They can also be hung as-is without a
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