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This is an amazing example of the most intricately woven Obi from the 1800s. Not only is the detail incredible, but the amount of pure gold included also designates this Obi as truly majestic.
DESCRIPTION: This is a traditional 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 one of the most difficult of the Obi to weave.
This is an extraordinary example of the most elaborate of the “Maru” Obi to be found. The intricate and overall pattern has been woven in tremendous detail using Pure Gold threads to outline each of the design elements. One's eye is immediately drawn to the Flying Crane ("Tsuru"), whose wings are highlighted in the Gold, as it is posed among the oversized Peony ("Botan") and Chrysanthemum ("Kiku"). Both of these flower motifs are representative of Imperial Royalty: the Peony in China and the Chrysanthemum in Japan. Additionally, the stylized Pine ("Matsu"), which is symbolic of longevity, is surrounded by a collection of auspicious treasures. The strong colors and bold and dramatic pattern, dominated by pure gold threads and bright colors, comprises a garment that stands out and draws attention to itself; thus, it stands to reason that this Obi would have been worn by a young, unmarried woman. Older, married women were not to draw attention to themselves and, typically, wore more somber colors and designs.
The intricacy of the weaving 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: Formal, hand woven Silk Maru Obi
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Mid Meiji Era (1868 - 1911)
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 a brilliantly colorful 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.