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Natural dyes in these shades of pink and lavender were very difficult to find as well as very expensive in the 1800s. This is only one of two Obi found that showcase these pastels. (sorry the photos are over processed)
DESCRIPTION: This exquisite “Maru” Obi, the most formal of the Obi, has been hand woven of the finest pure Silk and Gold threads. It is an unusual example of the most elaborate of the Maru Obi to be hand woven for Japanese women before the turn of the century. It has but one seam, meaning that the Obi was woven in one continuous panel before being folded over in such a way that the pattern was not lost in the fold. It is, however, the tremendous amount of pure gold thread woven into the design that makes it absolutely unique. The gold is not only part of the intricacy of the pattern; it also creates an overall sheen to this Obi that is unparalleled. Only a member of the nobility, someone with great wealth, could have commissioned the weaving of such a rich Obi.
The lavender rolling Scrolls ("Kakemono") filled with the "Hana Karuma" or the Lucky Flower Cart draw the eye down the full length of this lustrous pastel Obi. The Scrolls also contain the diamond or lozenge flower pattern ("Hanabishi") that was a basic textile pattern in Japan from before the 12th Century, paired with the "China flower" motif. Along this downward path are intervals of stylized Pine ("Matsu"), which represent longevity in the Japanese culture. These Pine appear atop a traditional variation of the Wave ("Nami") design. The Waves add to the feeling of dynamic motion, especially when added to the rolling Scroll.
Beside the large amount of pure gold threads, the next most auspicious color is the light shade of purple. Purple (“Murasaki”) is the color of the Imperial Family, largely because of its great scarcity in ancient Japan. The overall effect of this Obi is one of pleasing design set forth in rare muted colors indicating great prosperity, youth and beauty, while the gold stripes at the bottom of the Obi denote that a woman of high rank and status in Japanese society wore this Obi.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Formal hand woven Silk Maru Obi
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Late Meiji Era (1868 - 1911), before the turn of the century
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Pure Silk and gold threads in excellent condition
FINISHED SIZE: 12 ¾ inches wide x 13 ¼ feet long
PRESENTATION: Creates an unusual and glorious wall hanging, either vertically or horizontally, or extraordinary table or chest runner.
A Certificate of Authenticity is included.
TTAC will personally pack and ship via UPS at company expense within the continental U.S.