A Boro Hemp Tsunobukuro: Low Contrast Tonal Cotton Patches

$545.00 USD

late nineteenth century
33 1/2" x 11 3/4", 85 cm x 32.5 cm

This is a tsunobukuro, or horn bag, so called because of its distinctive appearance: this bag is fashioned from one length of cloth hand sewn on the bias, the result of this construction are two "horns" which appear at the top of the bag.

Tsunobukuro are a kind of collector's piece and are well-regarded by those who collect Japanese folk textiles.

Because the cloth of a tsunobukuro is set on a bias this bag is stretchy and it can accommodate a large volume of rice, grain or beans which it was intended to store.

This beautifully repaired tsunobukuro is hand stitched from what appears to be soft hemp cloth that has been worn well over a good deal of time. The patches are cotton and they vary close in tone to the bag so one is left to wonder if the color of the patches is due to their original color, to wear, or to the patched bag being dipped in some kind of dye or substance. In any case the patching is remarkably beautiful and equally interesting on both sides of the bag.

Here the bag is shown inside-out in order to reveal the many mending patches, some of which reveal interesting passages of stitching that adhere them to the base cloth.

For the serious collector of  old Japanese of rural cloth and utilitarian, functional fabrics, this bag is a welcome addition to your collection both for its condition and its type: it is a very good example of an old, repaired horn bag.

A real beauty.