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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Textile Arts
Work Type
19th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Central Asian
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Warp-faced satin foundaton with continuous and discontinuous patterning wefts
max. H. 120 x W. 152 cm (47 1/4 x 59 13/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Quill Jones (by 1919), sold; to Louis V. Ledoux Collection, New York (1919-1948), by descent; to his son L. Pierre Ledoux, New York (1948-2001), by inheritance; to his widow Joan F. Ledoux, New York, (2001-2013), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2013.

1. Louis V. Ledoux (1880-1948)
2. L. Pierre Ledoux (1912-2001)
3. On long term loan to Harvard Art Museums from 1985 to 2013.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Louis V. Ledoux Collection; Gift of Mrs. L. Pierre Ledoux in memory of her husband
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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The distinctive cut of this robe—collarless with a wide neck, the skirt gathered under the arms and flaring over the hips, and a very full, tapering sleeve-- recalls the standard shape of the munisak, an outer garment worn on special occasions by wealthy Central Asian women in the nineteenth century and probably earlier. A munisak could be a relatively voluminous garment, for it was intended to be worn open, on top of several layers of silk dresses. The present attribution of the garment to nineteenth-century Central Asia is based on this similarity, plus the presence on the interior of strips of Central Asian ikat, used as an edging fabric.

This robe differs from most examples of munisaks preserved in public collections, however. These latter are usually made of ikat fabrics, while this blue robe is constructed of a draw-loom woven, warp-faced silk satin of as yet indeterminate origin. The patterning wefts of this blue fabric are both continuous (the “gold”-wrapped threads) and discontinuous (salmon pink and blue-green). The repeat unit of the pattern features four different blossoms on an undulating leafy vine, and measures 20.6 x 11.8 cm.

The elaborate treatment of the cuffs is not typical for Central Asian munisaks. On this robe, a long, but narrow cuff is constructed of several bands of the blue satin fabric. The wider sleeve is gathered in open “pleats” and tacked to the cuff.

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at