Indian Golconda; Deccan, Reynolds coverlet, ca. 1640-1650, Cotton plain weave, mordant and resist-dyed, hand painted, block-printed; 269.2 cm (106 inches) (length), Gift of the Glocester Heritage Society 83.023
Myth and imagination collide with the physical world in the central field of this textile. Approximately 425 birds and more than 400 animals from the Indian, Iranian, and Chinese worlds swarm through a thick mass of foliage and rock forms. The unique character of the Reynolds coverlet, named for its previous owners, represents a new category of early painted cottons from India’s southeastern Coromandel Coast. In subject matter and composition, there are striking affinities with the fantastic landscapes of fifteenth-century Turkmen artists in western Iran. Although not overtly Islamic, its features suggest a wide range of Iranian sources and reaffirms the ability of Golconda artists to meld disparate influences into a distinctly Indian version.