A Large Sashiko Furoshiki from Kyoto: Dated Meiji 31 or 1899
dated Meiji 31 or roughly 1899
67" x 62", 170 cm x 157.5 cm
This is a marvelous opportunity to own a beautiful artifact from old Japan which is clearly identified by place and date: written on the central, white cotton reinforcement patch of this indigo dyed sashiko stitched furoshiki are the details of the date and ownership of this furoshiki.
The hand written Chinese characters or kanji say: "Meiji 31; made in February; Kyoto Nishi Rokujo Aburano Koji, Onmae dori Sagaru machi; Tamashiki Sho; Nakagawa ten."
By the location noted on the furoshiki we can infer, rightly or wrongly, that this wrapping cloth belonged to a merchant who dealt in Buddhist items: of course we can never know this but it seems likely.
The large furoshiki shows very nice sashiko stitched corners, each dense at the tips for reinforcement, with radiating lines coming out from these corners which suggest the image of either a folding fan or a chrysanthemum, two traditional sashiko stitched motifs.
There are holes and breaks to the furoshiki as can clearly be seen and which are in keeping with its age and with its use.
This is a rare item for all the information it offers us.