Some of my very favorite things hanging on my walls are textiles, some framed, others simply pinned up. This beautiful pair of deconstructed antique Afgani hand-embroidered sleeves would be truly stunning mounted, framed, and hung in any context. I find looking at them closely feels akin to taking a deep breath.
This sort of chainstitch embroidery, embellished with small circular mirrors, was traditionally employed in Ghazni, Afganistan on men’s smocks, often in the form of “whitework” - white thread on white cotton, as is exemplified on one of the two sleeves. (More about Islamic embroidery here.) My guess is these are mid- to late-19th century, though I am not completely certain. Some of the mirrors are missing, and there are a couple of small tears to the cotton ground of one of the sleeves, but the embroidery is perfectly intact and they are in excellent condition overall.
I found these at an estate sale in a gorgeous old home in Kansas City’s Brookside neighborhood that included some phenomenal antiques and an astounding, seemingly endless library of old books.