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Textile label produced for Khetsidass Tilokchand, Calcutta, featuring an episode from the Ramayana

19th to 20th centuries

Museum of Art & Photography

Museum of Art & Photography
Bangalore, India

A textile label produced for Khetsidass Tilokchand, Calcutta, its illustration taken from the Ravi Varma Press' depiction of Hanuman Sanjeevani.

In the story of the Ramayana during the battle, Laksmana is rendered unconscious and near death by the Brahmastra by Ravana's son Indrajit. Sent to fetch the medicinal herb Sanjeevani from the Dronagiri mountain, Hanuman is unable to locate the right herb. He therefore uproots the entire mountain, and flies back to the battlefield to help revive Lakshmana and the other soldiers who had fallen prey to this powerful weapon bestowed upon Indrajit by Brahma.

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.

Details

  • Title: Textile label produced for Khetsidass Tilokchand, Calcutta, featuring an episode from the Ramayana
  • 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.643

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