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One of the most lustrous silk Obi I have found in over 20 years. The photos do not illustrate the green sheen that dominates when the Obi is viewed from a different direction.
DESCRIPTION: This is a rare, handwoven Silk “Maru Obi,” which is the most formal and most expensive of the Japanese Obi. A Maru Obi has but one seam, and has been woven in a continuous repeat pattern and folded over to create 2 visions of the same dramatic scene. **A unique feature of the Maru Obi (found only in some antique examples) is a dyeing and weaving process that, when hung and viewed from different angles, appears to make the dominate colors change. The background is a shade of taupe, which appears green when viewed upside down. The elements of the design have been created through the use of all natural dyes, providing unusual highlighting to the individual features.
This is a very rare design that appears almost modern in its large motif. The oversized and dominant flying Mandarin Crane ("Tsuru") are stunning, providing a bold focal point for this dramatic Obi. They are surrounded by large bouquets of Peony ("Botan") and Chrysanthemum ("Kiku"), incredibly woven so that their coloration shades from light green to light pink. The solid Peony are a rust color that blends beautifully. They appear among the large Fan ("Ogi") - some of which are Open ("Sensu"). The Open Fan represents an open future, while both the Chrysanthemum and Peony are flowers of the Imperial Families of Japan and China. Interspersed are the branches of the flowering Plum ("Ume") and a stylized version of the Pine Tree ("Matsu"). The Plum is renowned for its strength in adversity, as it is the first flower to bloom in late winter, announcing the coming of spring. The Pine is also loved for its beauty, but is revered for its long age.
Because this is such a dramatic Obi, which would naturally call attention to the wearer, it was undoubtedly intended for a young, unmarried woman. Additionally, because the weaving is so finely completed, it could only have been created by a master weaver. Only a woman of high rank, status, and great wealth in Japanese society could have worn this striking Obi.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Japan
TYPE TEXTILE: Formal Maru Obi
APPROXIMATE DATE OR PERIOD: Meiji Era (1868 - 1911), prior to the turn of the Century
FABRIC CONTENT and CONDITION: Handwoven of the finest quality Silk threads. Excellent condition.
FINISHED SIZE: 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.