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Monday, August 31, 2009

Handicrafts of Pakistan- Glass Work (May 31, 1984)




Pakistan, with its five thousand year old civilisation, has a rich heritage of handicrafts. The different regions with wide variety of tradition and culture, dialects, folklore, music, dresses and costumes have much to offer to any connoisseur of handicrafts. The Kashmiri Shawls, the Baluchi and the Sindhi embroidery work, the Peshawari chappals and carpets, camel skin lamps of Multan, Gujrati pottery and the wood and brass work done in different parts of Pakistan have all a charm of their own.
The fourth set in the Pakistan handicraft series depicts Glass Work in Shish Mahal, Lahore Fort. Earlier issues in the series include (i) a set of four stamps depicting Guj embroidered shirt (Guj is a Sindhi term for woman\'s wedding shirt), Enamel inlaid brass plate, Baskets and Chain- stitch embroidered rug (August 23, 1979) (ii) a set of two stamps on Hala Pottery & camel skin lamp (Feb 20, 1982) followed by (iii) a set of two stamps on Panj Pholo (Five flower motif) and straw mats (March 9, 1983).
Kashi or glass work essentially consists of layer of glass spread on hard kind of plaster, sometimes on a material which is porcelaneous in structure. On analysis, the glass was found to be composed of a mixture of lime and siliceous sand, the hardness being due to salication which accounts for its bearing the heat required to fuse glass. The work consists of three components, i.e. the plaster called \"Khamir\"; the glass called \"Kanch\" and a material called \"Aster\".
Although the Art, as practised in India and Persia seems to have been derived from China at the end of the thirteenth Century, it was doubtlessly existed in other forms among Semitic nations in the ancient times. The art travelled to Europe through the Arabs at the end of the ninth century and was adopted by the Italians under the name of \'Majolica\'.
To focus attention on the majestic and beautiful glass work of our country, Pakistan Post Office is issuing four stamps each of Re 1/- denomination depicting glass work in Shish Mahal, Lahore Fort, on 31 May, 1984.