A Length of Jishiro Katazome Cotton: Anchors or Grappling Hooks
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
34" x 12 1/2", 86.5 cm x 32 cm
This is a really beautiful length of jishiro or blue-on-white katazome dyed cotton that shows a very desirable and not-often-seen design of anchors or grappling hooks.
The playful manner in which the dark anchors are set against a ground of meandering ropes and what appear to be a fishing net is a joy to behold: this fragment was taken from a futon cover which was most probably offered to a newly married couple as part of the bridal trousseau. In Japanese symbology anchors convey a wish for steadfastness and they also are a hope for the bride to be held secure in her new life.
The length of katazome cloth is well-used and shows an overall, light abrasion and some light fading and there is a tear to the lower, left-hand corner. The upper right-hand corner is significantly faded and abraded.
Overall this is a thrilling little panel and one for a collector of Japanese folk textiles.