An Obi with 2 entirely different patterns on each side, and one seam, is the most difficult of all Obi to weave...these Obi are very rare. There are so few available today because there are few Master Weavers left today in Japan. Although there is but one seam, the entire weaving was completed, free style, from one edge of the Obi to the other, so each pattern was woven side by side.
DESCRIPTION: This is a rare example of a most luxurious, hand woven 19th Century “Maru” Obi (the most expensive and formal of Japanese Women’s sashes). It has been hand woven using an enormous amount of pure gold threads interwoven with the finest Silk threads to produce an overall opulent shimmer in the background as well as throughout the designs themselves. This heavy, double-sided antique Obi is the most difficult of the Obi to weave, as two entirely different patterns are created simultaneously, side-by-side, with only a single side seam.
On one side, there is an overall pattern of beautifully detailed Toys, decorated with brilliant designs and wrapped together with brightly colored threads, giving this side of the Obi a modern look. The reverse side uses the same color threads in an entirely different pattern which is an elaborately woven, traditional design of flying Crane (representing good fortune and longevity), Chrysanthemums (the flower of the emperor), Pine (longevity), and the carriage of the nobility. The intricacy of the designs attests to the artistry of the weaver and the wealth and status of the wearer. The overall effect of this Obi is one of great wealth and beauty, while the gold stripes at the bottom of the pattern denote that a woman of high rank and status in Japanese society wore this Obi.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: This is an extraordinary example of the most elaborate of the “Maru” Obi to be hand woven for Japanese women before the turn of the century. A Maru Obi is the most formal and expensive of the hand woven Obi. 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.
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Mid Meiji Era (1868-1912), circa 1880s
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Hand woven of the finest pure Silk and Gold threads in excellent condition.
FINISHED SIZE: approximately 13 inches wide by 12 1/2 feet long...typical size for a very old Obi.
PRESENTATION: Creates an unusual and dramatic 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.