Velvet Afghan Jacket

Contributed by: Broken Hill Migrant Heritage Committee (Inc)

Jacket back Jacket back detail Jacket front Jacket left sleeve Left sleeve detail Shamorze Khan wearing jacket c1950s Bottom front edge of jacket Detached braiding Loss of silk velvet pile Afghan Jacket Front Afghan Jacket
Back Damaged holes in collar of jacket Inside armpit lining
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Object information

Significance statement

The significance of this jacket is still being researched. According to family members Shamroze Khan bought this jacket on a pilgrimage to Mecca; date unknown. However, in 2009 the Indian Consul viewed the jacket in the Broken Hill Migrant Museum and stated the jacket was too ornate to have been purchased during a pilgrimage to Mecca. Contrary to this opinion staff of the South Australian Mosque indicated the jacket would have been bought on a trip to or from Mecca and thus had religious significance.

Christine Finnimore from the South Australian Migration Museum believes the jacket is significant because of its rarity and historical association. it is believed few of these jackets remain in existence.

The significance to Broken Hill is strong. The jacket was worn by Shalmose Khan to the Broken Hill Mosque-the first regional mosque in New South Wales. Shamroze Khan was one of the last practising Moslems in Broken Hill. The jacket is unique to the city and is values as such.

Author: Christine Adams, 12th October 2010.


Description by Artlab Australia: Green silk velevet Afghan Jacket. The jacket is both machined stitched and hand stitched. A-Line shape with long sleeves, open front with two hook eyes for fastening closed. Two pockets on front of Jacket. Single vent on the back of the jacket. Fully lined with black cotton fabric. Heavily embroidered gold metal thread braiding decorating the front/back, along the sleeves, collar and pockets of jacket.

History and Provenance

How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?

This jacket is directly related to the Afghan community of Broken Hill. Shamroze Khan was a practising Muslim, attending the local Mosque-the first mosque to have been built in regional New South Wales. The Mosque was added to the New South Wales Heritage list in 2010; the listing recognising the valuable contribution its members made to the early transport history of Broken Hill and surrounding areas.

Where did this information come from?

The information has been supplied by the son of Shamroze Khan, Bobby Shamroze. The information is sparse re the providence but Bobby remembers his father wearing the jacket when Bobby was a little boy.

This garment has been exhibited

The jacket was displayed in Broken Hill in 2004 at a temporary Sharing The Lode Migrant Exhbition whic developed from the recording of migrants' stories in Broken Hill. At that time the jacket had been located in the Mosque which is managed by the Broken Hill Historical Society. The condition of the jacket had deteriorated and the Shamroze family requested the care of the jacket be transferred to the Broken HIll Migrant Committee Inc.

The jacket is now housed in a a Conservation drawer and available to interested parties at all times. There is little likelihood the jacket will be displayed externally because of the fragile condition of the jacket.

  1. Place of origin:

    Pakistan - possibly

  2. Owned by:

    The jacket was owned by Shamroze Khan who was born in Pathan Afghanistan in 1872, arriving in Broken Hill in 1894. The jacket was given to his son Ammin Nullah (Bobby) Shamroze at the time of Shamroze Khan's death in 1952. In 2009 Bobby Shamroze donated the jacket to the Broken Hil Migrant Heritage Committee Inc. and it is displayed in the Broken Hill Migrant Museum.

  3. Worn by:

    Shamroze Khan

  4. Occasion(s):

    Shamroze Khan wore the jacket to the local Mosque and on special occasions.

  5. Place:

    Worn in Broken Hill

Trimmings / Decoration


Gold metal Thread

Fibre / Weave

Whole jacket is emerald green silk velvet.

Fully lined with black cotton fabric.

Heavily embroidered with gold metal braid on front, back, sleeves and collar.

  1. Natural dye
  2. Synthetic dye


Coat machine stitched; embroidery hand stitched; repairs mainly to black cotton lining done by hand.




No alterations but repairs to lining poorly finished.

  1. Hand sewn
  2. Machine sewn
  3. Knitted
  4. Other


  1. Bias
  2. Straight


  1. Hook and eye
  2. Lacing
  3. Buttons
  4. Zip
  5. Drawstring


Chest 970 mm
Front neck to hem 533 mm
Back neck to hem 720 mm
Sleeve length 607 mm
Underarm to underarm 435 mm
Convert to inches

Front neck to hem measurement taken at centre front where fastenings begin to hem.


Evidence of repairs

Old crude repairs are evident on the inside of the lining; in particular in both of the armpits. There are a small number of holes on the jacket on the shoulders, bottom edge of sleeves and around the collar. Evidence the jacket was well used.

Light has caused the deterioration of the silk velvet pile on the jacket; this was caused by incorrect conservation procedures. The front of the jacket, which was more susceptible to light has faded; the back of the jacket is still a beautiful deep green in colour. The metal thread braiding has become worn and tarnished. Artlab

Insect damage

There is evidence of old insect infestation. No live insect activity detected by Artlab


  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Poor


  1. Fading
  2. Holes
  3. Worn
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