A Boro Decorative Horse Trapping: Katazome, Tsutsugaki, Hand Spun Cotton

$595.00 USD

late nineteenth century
115 1/2" x 25 1/2", 293.5 cm x 64.5 cm

This indigo and resist dyed cotton boro textile is hand stitched from wonderful old hand spun, hand woven cotton, the texture of which is exactly what you would like to see in Japanese cotton folk textiles.

This is a partial horse trapping.

What this means is that this was a decorative "costume" worn by a horse during a festival: the wide, center part of the cloth would go under the belly of the horse and the two long pieces (there should be two on each side of the central panel) would be drawn up around the body of the horse and tied in a decorative knot on the horse's back, something like what is illustrated here.

One of the most well-known festivals related to horses, and one where many horses would have been so elaborately decked out is the Chagu Chagu Umakko Festival, a bit of which can be seen here.

This particular piece represents a bit more than half the original: the original piece would have had two additional "arms" as described above.

Still, these horse trappings are collectible and this one with its fantastic old cotton, its wonderful fading and its superb arrangement of old cloth patches is an exciting visual find.

Do note the marvelous stitching to the back of the piece which is done is heavy twined blue and white cotton thread.

Rare and recommended.