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Title: Dressing for the Great Game
Subtitle: The Robert Shaw Collection in the Ashmolean Museum
Author(s): BARNES, Ruth
Journal: Khil'a
Volume: 1    Date: 2005   
Pages: 1-13
DOI: 10.2143/KH.1.0.629995

Abstract :
This contribution present a small, but historically significant group of Central Asian garments in the Department of Eastern Art, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The garments were collected in the late nineteenth century by Robert Shaw, the author of Visits of High Tartary, Yarkand and Kashgar (reprint Hongkong 1984), a book that describes his travels from northern India to Central Asia (Yarkand and Kashgar) in 1868/9. Some of the garments, including a number of ‘Robes of Honour’, were given to him by Yakub Beg, who in 1865 had moved into this part of the world and carved out a small realm independent of the Chinese, only to be removed some ten years later. The robes are particularly spectacular, patterned in the complex resist-dye ikat technique that was used to decorate prestigious garments worn in the city states of Central Asia throughout the 19th and into the 20th century. The Robert Shaw Collection also includes trousers, riding boots, skullcaps, and ikat socks.

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