ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  corpus religious embroideries

  Mrs. J.Kay Robertson
asks the following question:

....." one of the questions I have been puzzling about is why
the India-Portuguese embroidered coverlets are now called "Bengal" or "Calcutta" - that city was never Portuguese, but was founded by the English in 1695, when so many - and the best ones- are as early as the 16th century, when Goa was Portuguese Colony - we (i.e. my father and the knowledgeable Bernheimers), always called them "Goa" and sometimes "Malabar", which is the southwest coast of India to the south of Goa, with the major center "Kalikut" - could this latter city have been reinterpreted by someone who doesn't know geography as the similar-sounding name "Calcutta"?

I do wish this would be corrected - most of them show Habsburg eagles, and the armor is right out of the travel stories of Magellan etc ...I never saw the article that rationalized the change to Bengal, so I cannot judge the thinking, but things like that are not "writ in stone" - It might make a good thesis...."

please contact:

Mrs. William J. Robertson
Mrts. G. Kay Robertson
10334 Ilona Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Phone: (310) 277-6060
FAX: (310) 277-4965


home  content Last revised March 29, 2004