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DESCRIPTION: This is a marvelous Fukusa, or formal gift cover, that has been hand woven of Shioze Silk, and still retains its original tassels which were tied to reveal the era in which it was created. This is a hard-edged and very strong silk that was not easily produced in old Japan. It has been hand dyed using natural dyes and painted, with the artist's signature and seal.
The design appears to be a woodblock on silk, a very unusual and rare form of decoration for a Fukusa. It is a very laborious and time consuming process favored by the upper classes when they commissioned their gift cover from famous artisans. This is a unique Fukusa because of its size and the quality of the Silk. The rendition of children preparing for a festival is charming. The details on their costumes are intricate and quite colorful, while the children themselves are painted in a style called “Karako” or “little happy people.” Their faces are whitened, and painted as if to portray them as dolls. The Fukusa bears a signature, as well as the artists seal.
All four gold tassels are still attached. This family-owned, personally commissioned from the artist, gift cover was a family heirloom and a thing of beauty. (top photo: true color)
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: Meiji Era (1868-1912)
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Pure hand woven Shioze Silk, which is a fabric of a plain weave with thick wefts and predominant warps. It has been hand painted and signed. It is in excellent condition with some barely noticeable, minimal rubbing. The hand tied silk tassels have been tied in the design that indicates the age in which the Fukusa was created.
FINISHED SIZE: 9 1/2" wide x 10 1/2" high,, not including 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.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.