A rare surviving garment from the Mughal court was purchased for a paltry sum
This exquisite riding coat is one of the rare remnants of the grandeur of the Mughal court. An embroidered, man’s riding coat dating back to the 17th Century, it is one of the rarest surviving pieces of Mughal dress and the finest example of the opulence and beauty of garments made for the court. The coat is made of white muslin and features silk thread embroidery. The dense embroidery depicts repeated patterns of animal and plant life in detail. When this piece was first offered to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the United Kingdom in 1929, it was rejected. It was recognised as a rare treasure almost 20 years later and was purchased by the museum for £100. The coat is a living testament to the fact that between the 15th and the 17th centuries, courtly patronage produced some of the finest textiles ever made — in undivided India and the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, October 18th, 2015.