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Reverend Henry Lansdell’s Trousers

Large, brown leather trousers, embroidered in coloured threads: white, green, blue, yellow, purple. Foliae and rinceaux patterns. Made in Afghanistan and bought by Reverend Henry Lansdell in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in the 1870s.


The inhabitants of Kent have had an enormous influence in shaping the world and enriching the culture of the British Isles. Of particular notice are resonances of 19th century Afghanistan with the country and politics of today and the Revd. Landsell’s dual role of promoting the Christian religion while collecting information on the countries and cultures he encountered.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge,
18 High Street,
Kent CT1 2RA


The Reverend Henry Lansdell (1841–1919) was born in Tenterden, Kent. As an Anglican priest he was a missionary, distributing bibles and religious writings abroad. His initially short trips grew into such ground breaking and arduous journeys that his experiences became the basis of British academic study of Siberia, Russian Central Asia, China and beyond. Afghan embroidered trousers made in Afghanistan, bought in Tashkent. Described by Lansdell as from ‘Chambar’, a place in Afghanistan. The colourful embroidery is typical of Afghan work. Lansdell bought them at a bazaar in Tashkent, a Russian trading city north of the Afghan border. He thought they would ‘be warm and both useful, when tied at the bottoms’ during his journeys on horseback across the continent.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2: Victorians
  • KS3: The British Empire, Artists, Architects and Designers in History


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