This rectangular red satin cover may date back to the late 19th century. An ornate border on all four sides functions as a frame. There are 14 finely embroidered pictures in individual compartments.
Moving from left to right, the images are as follows:
As is often the case, the goddess Śrī is larger than the symbols of the other dreams and is therefore more prominent visually. Here her picture occupies a central position across the second and third rows.
In artefacts of a relatively late period, the ocean is often symbolised by a vessel or ship, as with this manuscript cover. This often shows the influence of European art. Similarly, the artists also often exercise creativity when depicting the 'palace' – here, next to the ship – and its architectural features.
A book is bound, which means it has a spine into which the pages are glued or stitched so a reader can easily turn over the pages. A traditional manuscript is made up of loose sheets of paper. Earlier manuscripts were created from palm leaves or similar material. The sheets were tied together using strings passed through holes in each sheet or folio so the reader could turn them over easily.
A manuscript is unbound but sometimes has a manuscript cover to protect it. This has two parts, one at the beginning, the other at the end. Manuscript covers are made of paper, cloth, cardboard or wood. They can be decorated and painted.
Victoria and Albert Museum. IS.50-1983. Unknown author. 19th century