Textile label produced for Graham Co., Manchester depicting the death of Kamsa

Unknown Maker(s)19th to 20th centuries

Museum of Art & Photography

Museum of Art & Photography
Bangalore, India

This textile label produced for Graham Co., Manchester, depicts the death of Kamsa and uses the popular Ravi Varma illustration of Kans Vadh.

In Hindu mythology, Kansa or Kamsa was the tyrant ruler of the Vrishni kingdom with its capital at Mathura. He was the brother of Devaki, and after a heavenly voice prophesied that Devaki's eighth son would slay him, he imprisoned her and her husband Vasudeva and killed all their children. However their eighth son, Krishna, was transported to Gokul, where he was raised in the care of Nanda and Yashoda. As per the prophecy, he finally arrived in Mathura and slew his uncle Kamsa.

Textile trade labels, also referred to as ‘tickets’ and ‘tikas’ remain a less popularly known, though entirely fascinating, by-product of Indo-British trade and cultural history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These trade labels formed an integral part of the publicity campaigns of both British and Indian mills of the period, and featured imagery that ranged from the mythological to the political. Customarily rectangular in format and marked by borders that usually carried the names of the mills or their agents, they were directly attached to cloth or pasted on the bales of cotton cloth being shipped. Every bale of yarn and cloth coming into India from England carried these labels or trademarks; and soon indigenous mills began to employ the same method of marketing their wares.


  • Title: Textile label produced for Graham Co., Manchester depicting the death of Kamsa
  • Creator: Unknown Maker(s)
  • Date Created: 19th to 20th centuries
  • Location: England/Germany; India
  • Type: Textile Label
  • Rights: Courtesy of the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP)
  • Medium: Chromolithograph
  • Museum No.: TC.634
  • Department: Popular Culture

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