AGB128. Exceptionally rare silk agbada Yoruba chief’s robe with the two knives pattern in green on a background of magenta alaari silk from the trans-Saharan caravan trade. The wefts are pink cotton while warp is silk with a central white cotton stripe.The predominance of silk gives the cloth a light weight and a soft lustrous handle. These silk robes with white stripes almost always had green embroidery and were highly expensive and prestigious high status pieces commissioned and worn by the wealthiest rulers in pre-colonial Nigeria. There are very few of these silk robes in museum collections, notably one in the British Museum’s Beving collection (Number Af1934,0307.200 ) but the survival intact of this C19th example in the field is remarkable and a tribute to the high regard and careful attention it received over the decades. Condition is excellent, some loss of green colour on the embroidery.
Measurements: 94 inches x 48, 239cm x 122.
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