A Faded Length of Complex Katazome: Flower Waves
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
64" x 13 1/4", 162.5 cm x 33.5 cm
Although this length of indigo dyed katazome cotton is quite marred by light fading, some surface abrasion and by prominent stains, it is very interesting for its complex, unusual pattern.
At first glance the design seems standard for katazome dyed bedding material which this is: flower forms set against a backdrop of karakusa or arabesque. But look closer and you will see that the flowers are in fact made up of ocean waves, which is almost unique in the world of katazome designs. As well the arabesque pattern, often referred to as a trailing vine motif, seems to sprout bird wings at its terminals while (what appear to be) small phoenixes seem to flit about this unusual design.
Please look closely at this design to notice all these details.
Also, what is very clear is that this length is faded from light and wear while narrow stains interrupt the flow of the pattern.
Even so, this piece has value in its strange composition and content.