Galicha carpets, manufactured in Sasseram, are almost always woollen, of florid but neat patterns, in imitation of the Persian carpet. They are used to a considerable extent by the rich natives in their zananas, but by Europeans also. The size usually manufactured is 2 yards long by 1 yard broad, and they sell at from 2 rupees to 4 rupees 8 annas per carpet. The European carpet manu facturer could not compete with these as to price and actual value, as the wool costs but little in India, and the native dyes answer admirably for the purpose ; while also the coarse local wools, which would not pay for exportation, answer for carpet work. The colours are harmonious, and there is but little doubt that it would pay any enterprising merchant to export these to Europe. The annual manufacture at present in Sasseram is about 10,000 to 12,000 rupees.
Another kind, in imitation of the above, but wholly of cotton, is also made ; prices nearly the same. The patterns are pretty, but they rapidly become spoiled by dirt and dust. They are in variably made of only two colours, blue and white. Ornamental carpets of thread, with a woollen and sometimes with a silken pile, are made up in Multan, Peshawur, Amritsar, Bahawulpur, and Kashmir. Those of Multan are perhaps most celebrated. Those of Ellore and other parts of the Northern Circars are largely sold for use and for export.
The carpets from Cocanada are greatly admired ; the ground is white. A floral scroll of blue, red, yellow, and brown divide them into regular geo metrical spaces like a tesselated pavement ; a flowery cone being inlaid in each white space, and the rows of cones thus formed are alter nately coloured red, blue, yellow, and brown. The design is Greek in its simplicity ; and in its warmth and glow of colour perfectly oriental, charming the attention, ' caught by each colour till the next is seen.' India produces also velvet carpets embroidered with gold, at Benares and Murshidabad. Costly articles of this kind were contributed to the Great Exhibiton of London by the Queen. These rich fabrics are of fine velvet, embroidered with bullion gold. Maharaja Gulab Singh contributed to the Great Exhibition of 1851 a magnificent manufac ture of pure silk, nearly an inch thick in the pile, showing to perfection the dyes and the harmonious arrangement of the native artists. In every square foot there were said to be contained ten thousand ties or knots of silk.
In the colouring of the carpets of India, full Indian red, broken by flowers or conventional leaves, in which orange predominates, forms a leading feature. A cool, low blue, a green of similar gravity of hue, and soft, creamy white, complete the palette of the Indian designer of these fabrics. Some of the British carpet-dealers had changes effected in this old Indian system. Some white in borders was actually bleached, and one or two garish combinations introduced. Colours have been intensified and made flatly uniform, instead of broken and slightly varying as the masses of red and other colours are left by the native weavers. Linen backs have been in troduced to meet the orders of some of the British dealers, and complaints of the wearing qualities followed. Both English and French dealers have
had changes, more or less important, introduced into these oriental designs to suit the bad taste of their buyers,—in all such cases, with losses of the exquisite harmony of the native arrangements of form and colour.
Oriental colouring in textile fabrics seems to result from a gift to the various races that produce them. The native designers proceed in accordance with immemorial traditions, and with a certainty that resembles instinct. Of all artistic powers, that of colour, in its highest harmonies, is the most difficult to teach. Though general principles can be imparted by scientific rules, the power of colouring beautifully is undoubtedly one rarely attained. It seems to prevail in races as a special gift. It exists where the knowledge of form is unknown. It accompanies an unconscious sym pathy with nature, and seems more allied with instinct than demonstrable by science. Many actually savage nations colour their cloths or wrappers or mats harmoniously, though abso lutely devoid of social or mental cultivation. And, on the other hand, as nations have progressed in scientific attainments, the love of colour, in dress certainly, in other ways generally, is diminished. Europe may cultivate the study of colour, and understand its laws ; but in textiles of all kinds, from carpets to gossamer muslina and gold and silver tissues, the traditional taste of oriental nations remains unattainable by Europeans. And of European nations those most old-fashioned, least changed from the rude ages of the past, retain the greatest enjoyment and feeling of colour.
If the civilised nations of Europe do not equal the less advanced and even the savage races in their appreciation of colours, they are even less happy in their application of designs: and in Cashmere and throughout India much injury has been occasioned to the manufacturers, alike to their skill and to their profits, by European pur chasers inducing them to undertake designs from Europe. The deep tints of native Indian and oriental dyes generally are at once the aspiration and despair of artistic European dyers ; and the beautiful elaboration in colour and design, as shown in the work of the weavers of Persia, Turkomania, Kirman, Cashmere, and British India, can only be injured by interference. The work men know that for the coarser wool of the Panjab, Sind, Baluchistan, and British India, the fine designs of Persia, or the designs' of the dense piled carpets 'of Turkomania and Kirman, are equally unsuitable, and that clay their own bold patterns can be with advantage used.—Madras Exhib. Jur. Rep. ; Dr. Watson's Report ; Mr. J. Rohde, MSS.; Colonel C. Davidson in Report of Hyderabad Committee ; Baron Clement A. de Bode ; Bokhara and its Amir, p. 224 ; General Ed. Ferrier's Journal, p. 26 ; Sir George Bird wood, Memo., 29th Sept. 1879 ; do. Handbook Paris Exhibition, 1878; Porter's Travels, ii. pp. 167-201 ; Die Persische Nadelmalerei Susands chird, etn Beitrag zur Entwicklungs-Geschichte der Tapisserie de haute Lisse, von Dr. Joseph Karabacek.