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Gandhara: The Legacy Of An Ancient Kingdom

Gandhara: The Legacy Of An Ancient Kingdom

DESIGN COLLECTION 2018-19

We only know what we’ve lost because
of what is left behind.

As time weathers away the riches of a once-exalted civilization, we unearth the traces of an ancient land as old as the Rig Vedas, which was a cradle of creativity, a centre for knowledge and learning, the axis of art, architecture and sculpture. We find fragments of a true confluence of cultures, a place that still defies definition and transcends one region, one time, one language.

We discover the story of Gandhara.

With its Indic, Persian, Greek, Central Asian and Buddhist influences, Gandhara was a truly syncretic culture with a multi-ethnic society and diverse iconography, an amalgam of sometimes opposing ideas and beliefs. This triangular tract of land west of the Indus was an ancient Silk Route kingdom, with its bustling cities of Takshashila and Purushapura thriving in the trade of treasures from all over the world.

We are inspired by this place whose wealth was intellectual and artistic rather than purely material, we look to its stylistic simplicity of form, both earthy and evocative, and interpret it in traditional and abstract ways. 

An unfinished blooming lotus, incomplete fractions of lines, a darkly trumpeting elephant.

Layering and play with textures and surface techniques influenced by nomadic tribes, a geometry of weaves, gently clashing patterns, a darker palette of colour, the distinct curves of pottery, the subtle gleam of vessels, the fragrant smoke of frankincense and benzoin. We use design to tell the tales of a world that may have been forgotten. 

Our memories are our history.

Gandharan Vessels

Although Gandhara saw an incredible syncretic evolution in the fields of art and design, its vessels represented a stylistic simplicity of form and material. With practical, functional shapes to assist everyday uses, such as storing food and grain or drinking and pouring water, each vessel celebrated distinctive curves, balance and subtle refinement

The most common vestiges from the period include earthy jars and vases, fragmented clay pots, pitchers, and stoneware plates. Our handcrafted vessels in metal, glass, and clay are inspired by these archaeological finds, the unearthed riches of this once-illustrious land.

Enchanted By History

Our dinnerware collections capture versatile facets of the region in rich shades of ochre, saffron, gold and indigo, adorned with symbolic leitmotifs:

“ From the trumpeting Elephant, often depicted on coins issued by the ruling Kshatrapas, to the eternal Lotus, a majestic symbol of the all-pervasive teachings of Buddhism in the Gandharan world. 

Textiles of Gandhara

From the beguiling geometric forms of traditional Ajrakh prints to the twinkling Banjaran mirrorwork of nomadic tribes, the textiles of Gandhara reflected a fascinating and diverse amalgam of culture and style. Our collections bring home the spirit of Gandhara with a range of rich textures and traditional crafts that tell stories of this forgotten world.   

Festive Ensembles

This season’s festive favourites are in jewelled hues of rich wines, forest greens, midnight blues, vintage archival Benarasi brocades, and intricately embroidered sumptuous velvets.

Gandhara Playlist

FEATURING

Anhad Naad 
Ram Sampath, Sona Mohapatra & Shadab

Dil Sulagta Raha Chandni Raat Mein
Ustad Nusurat Fateh Ali Khan

Khwaja Mere Khwaja
Instrumental

Kaho Kya Khayal Hai
Zeb and Haniya

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