A Mid Nineteenth Century Boys Day Banner: Unused and Pristine

$395.00 USD

mid nineteenth century
125" x 12" or 15" with tabs, 3.18 m x 30.5 cm or 38 cm with tabs

This very long banner dates from the mid 19th century and it is hand colored on hand spun, hand woven cotton.

It is a nobori bata or a banner that was intended to be displayed in front of a family home in order to celebrate the sons of the family on the May 5 (5/5) annual boys day festival.

The festival was celebrated in order to encourage wishes for good health and prosperity for the maturing boys.

Generally speaking images of masculine virtues such as confidence, bravery and strength were portrayed on the banners often in the form of samurai in battle (as seen here) or of legendary or mythical heroes.

Carp also figured into the symbolism of boys day because of the myth of the carp jumping up a waterfall and in so doing transforming himself into a dragon.

This particular nobori bata presents as it was when it was made more than 150 years ago. The hand painted pigment dyes are bright and new-looking, the beautifully hand spun cotton appears as it did when it was first woven.

The nobori bata is show in halves as it is too long to photograph in its entirety. The first or bottom half, the imagistic one, is shown in the lead photos here. The top half showing the family crest is shown in the second round of photos.

You can see the hand-stitched tabs to the top, bottom and side of the banner, each tab stitched to the body of the banner in a traditional way.

This is simply wonderful for every one of its first-rate characteristics: its fine condition, its wonderful drawing, the great coloring, the choice of subject matter, all of these details come together to form something highly visually appealing and with the added bonus of wonderful age and almost perfect condition.

Very recommended.