Antique Teak Hamsa Heddle Pulley, Stand, Burma/Myanmar (11298B-WHK)
- This elegant heddle pulley with a hamsa is carved from a single piece of Burmese teak and portrayed with deeply cut wings to express well-articulated feathers. Having an unusually long tail, it runs from his rear and curves to the top of its head. Its feet are atop two connected heart-shaped panels that hide the moving thimble between them providing a more artistic feel. This piece is in very good condition, is wonderfully weathered, and has with minor losses with a fine patina covers its originally painted surface. Mounted on a black wood base, this heddle pulley pairs well with item number 11298A.
Burmese-carvings are known for fine craftsmanship, masterful decoration, and functional-and-utilitarian items that include carved heddle-pulleysused in strip-weaving. This process used small handlooms that produced narrow strips of cloth sewn together to create a larger textiles such as blankets and ritual cloths, and the loom’s portability allowed weavers to carry them to the person commissioning the textile to see the progress on the weavings. Used in pairs at the top of the loom, heddle-pulleys were both functional and aesthetic and usually were decorated with auspicious images symbolizing figures or animals that protected the weaver, assured good quality in the weaving, and pleased the gods and spirits, an ideology from Burma’s past of animism and shamanism. This one portrays a hamsa, a frequently used motif in Burmese art. The hamsa is a sacred Buddhist symbol of wisdom and appears in the Jakata tales about the life of the Buddha, and is the Hindu god Brahma’s vahana or vehicle. Carved from Burmese teak and portrayed with deeply cut wings to express well-articulated feathers, it has an unusually long tail curving to the top of its head. It stands atop two connected heart-shaped panels hiding the moving thimble between them that provide a more artistic feel. This piece is in very good condition, is wonderfully weathered, and has with minor losses with a fine patina covering its originally painted surface. Carved using teak wood known for its high oil content making carvings last much longer than other woods, it is also is less likely to crack. Hamsa images are seen on both sacred and functional-and-utilitarian items as independent woodcarvings, and image on carved reliefs and as metal “opium” weights. Although there are many contemporary copies of carvings, this heddle-pulley and other antique Burmese-carvings have become increasingly rare.
Click here for the blog Burmese Heddle Pulleys: Functional and Aesthetic Weaving Tools
|Place of Origin||
Early 20th Century
|Materials and Technique||
H: 7.75” W: 3.5” D: 2.375” On Stand H: 10.625” W: 3.375” D: 2.5”
H: 19.685cm W: 8.89cm D:6.0325cm On Stand: H: 26.9875 W: 8.5725cm D: 6.35cm
Very good, signs of age and wear consistent with age, no restorations/repairs (see description)