A Battered, Well-Worn Noren: Fascinating Crest

$195.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
43 1/2" x 26 1/4", 110.5 cm x 66.5 cm

This is a well-worn two-panel, resist-dyed heavy cotton noren, a noren being a traditional curtain that acts as a shop sign or a kind of cover for an entrance way depending how the noren is used.  

Noren not only acted as shop signs--they are hung in the doorway of a business to announce the shop is open--but they also provided a barrier between the dust and chaos of the street and the inside of the shop or home. Additionally they provide some sort of psychological effect of delineating the transition between outside and inside.

This one has been used hard as is evidenced by the detail photos presented here. The pigment dyed surface of the cotton has been scuffed and abraded and the edges of the cloth are tattered. This noren has been through a lot--and this provokes our imagination to wonder where it was, who owned it, when it was made and all the rest.

The centrally placed family crest is unusual and depicts a pair of symmetrically arranged leaves. The leaves are of an unusual type--the artistic license employed in creating the image might have obscured what they represent--but they seem to be holly leaves, not often seen. A kanji or Chinese character sits between them.

This is a handsome noren and one with good age; it is very nice to look at.