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DESCRIPTION: This unusual Silk Fukusa, or formal gift cover, has been hand woven of Chirimen Silk and hand dyed of natural sources. Red was a sacred color in Japan and was considered medically protective. The background dye color of a salmon shade of red is quite rare and was, in all probability, obtained from the madder plant and mixed with safflower.
The hand painted flying Crane, “Tsuru,” with the pine bough in his beak, is a symbol of longevity and good fortune. The design has been freely drawn in the paste resist dyeing technique of “Tsutsugaki” It is a very laborious and time consuming process favored by the upper classes when they commissioned their gift cover from famous artisans. The reverse of the Fukusa is bright red Chirimen Silk with a design in white of Pine, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossoms: the three friends of Winter.
4 original tassels hand tied in the mid Meiji Era
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: A “Fukusa” is a cloth used to cover a gift that has been placed on a wooden or lacquered tray during the gift’s elaborate and formal presentation, all of which followed closely defined rules of etiquette. The practice of covering a gift was widespread in Japan before the 1900s. The Fukusa was a valuable family heirloom, as the family itself designed the gift cover to be a thing of beauty.
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Early Meiji Era (1868 - 1912)
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Chirimen Silk is an handwoven crepe like silk weave whose process can no longer be duplicated, as it has been lost to the Japanese for over 100 years. It has been hand painted in the Rice Paste Resist method which entailed painting out the design in rice paste each time a new color was added to the design. Condition: excellent but for 1 very small pinprick hole in the upper left hand side
FINISHED SIZE: 12" wide x 13" high, not counting the tassels.
PRESENTATION: Fabulous wall hanging or framed art work. The Fukusa is actually 2 separate sides sewed together at the outer seam with the inclusion of the tassels which would also make an extraordinary pillow. The Crest on the reverse side of the Fukusa would also make a dramatic framed work of art.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.