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Paneled Tree of Life Suzani

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Uzbekistan

$2,820

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PROVENANCE

This vintage St. Frank piece was created in Uzbekistan and consists of delicate silk embroidery on a silk-cotton blend backing. Suzani embroidery, which is made with a tambour hook, is a classic Central Asian textile characterized by flowers and meandering vines. This two-paneled textile demonstrates a common craft approach. A specialist known as a chizmachi draws out the suzani pattern, then each fabric strip is given to an embroiderer, and finally the finished pieces are sewn back together. The result is a grand work created by several hands, producing charming irregularities and subtle mismatches that balance out the precision of the stitch. The tree of life design here represents three spheres: the roots spring from the underworld, the trunk rises through the terrestrial world, and the branches reach the heavens. These textiles are traditionally used as wall hangings or as a woman's marriage dowry. The suzani's decorative embroidery is also thought to possess a protective element.

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