Several fragments exist from this chintz curtain, called an 'abra' - the face of a padded and quilted curtain, according to inscriptions on the back of the example in the Textile Museum Washington. This also includes inventory inscriptions, presumably from Amber palace, including dates, the earliest of which is 1078 AH/1666 AD. Painted cottons with similar designs were also used for garments.
Another chintz with a variation of our design, of the same date and origin, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum as is a jama (man's robe) of 18th century chintz from Burhanpur in the Deccan, once belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad (ed Guy, J. & Swallow, D., 1990, figs.99, & 101 p.121)
'A formal flowering plant or cluster of blossoms arranged regularly over a plain surface is a hallmark of Mughal decorative art. Yet Robert Skelton, ex Keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum, has convincingly argues that this scheme did not enter the Mughal repertoire until about 1619. Its introduction probably was inspired by the European herbals thought to have been provided as gifts to the Mughal court. Ultimately, the significance for Indian textile design was profound, for in the course of the seventeenth century it became the dominant type of textile patterning. The scheme appeared in many types of renderings - woven, embroidered and mordant painted - on men's and women's costume, on upholstery and on animal trappings.' (Gittinger, M. 1982, p74).
Nasli Heeramaneck Collection, New York Spink & Son, London
Gittinger, M. 'Master Dyers to the World' 1982, no 61, fig.65, pp73-75 ed Guy, J. & Swallow, D. 'Arts of India: 1550-1900' Victoria & Albert Museum, 1990 Smart, E. 'A Preliminary Report on a Group of Important Mughal Textiles' Textile Museum Journal 1986, fig.20, pp 14-15