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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm
Posts: 110
Location: Portugal
Dear all,

I have been very inactive on the forum for the last half year because I am preparing for a major exhibition of Indonesian ikat in Lisbon this fall. (See post in section on exhibitions or home page of my website.) But I have been longing to share some recent acquisitions, the most exciting of which is this sarong, almost certainly from Tanimbar, that I bought at auction in the US. The auction house, usually very well informed, had it down as an Alor piece from Kolana, but that is clear nonsense. As a fairly recent post on this forum pointed out (search for Kolana), no ikat was ever done in Kolana. Also, while on Alor in the 1980s I never saw anything remotely like this.

At auction the sarong It was fiercely contested and went to a multiple, so clearly there were other collectors who noticed something special was on offer. One of the things that immediately struck me is that the piece, while in general appearance and coloration immediately bringing Tanimbar to mind, in its details is unlike any Tanimbar sarong published so far. At least I have never seen a truly similar piece - nor one from another region for that matter.

The overall design, with two main ikated bands and pin-striped midfield strongly suggests Tanimbar provenance, but the motifs in the wider ikated bands are unusual: similar to some shown in Van Vuuren, but not exactly alike to any of the scores of motifs she shows. The only piece that is somewhat similar, but with brownish overall tonality, is a sarong in the Holy Cross collection - much of which is exquisite by the way. The blue is the kind of indigo that tends a little towards petrol that we often see on Tanimbar textiles. The ikat work is of very high quality, it radiates self-confidence, and the feel is of an old cloth - early 20Th C or late colonial. It intrigues me very much and I would like to know more about it. If anyone knows anything about the likely provenance, either confirming or rejecting my Tanimbar attribution, I would be very happy.

I hope you like the look of the piece and if you can share what you know, the richer we all are.


File comment: Assumed festive sarong from Tanimbar
ikat_new_166.jpg [ 125.64 KiB | Viewed 12508 times ]

Peter ten Hoopen


Last edited by Peter ten Hoopen on Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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