A Beautiful, Piece Constructed Katazome Panel: Five Separate Pieces
late nineteenth century
71" x 13 1/4", 180.5 cm x 33.5 cm
This is an interesting length of indigo dyed katazome cotton, and one with good age and a great deal of visual interest.
The length is hand stitched from five distinct pieces of katazome cloth and it shows three different patterns.
The top area of the cloth is hand stitched from three pieces which show a fragment of tsuru kame or crane and turtle shown in roundel with an ancillary roundel showing shochikubai or pine, plum and bamboo. Two additional fragments show karakusa or arabesque.
The long middle section of this length shows tsuru kame or the famous motif which pairs the crane and the tortoise, two symbols of longevity. Their large scale is attractive and impressive.
Finally, the bottom fragment is both tsuru kame and shochikubai seen in roundels, shochikubai being a traditional design motif composed of the auspicious pine, bamboo and plum: plum shows courage as its blossoms burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life--and of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.
A really marvelous length of old cotton and one that is rich in design and symbolism.