A Multi Colored Tsutsugaki Panel: Elaborately Rendered Phoenix
reduced from $125.00
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
64" x 12 3/4", 162.5 cm x 32.5 cm
This panel of beautifully hand spun, hand loomed cotton cloth is both indigo dyed and dyed in the tsutsugaki method, a technique where rice paste is drawn freehand onto cloth; hand painted color is applied to the cloth, and in this case we can see some beauifully faded gradient colors of blue, orange, rust and ochre.
The image of which we see a slice is that of the legendary phoenix of which this is said:
In Japan, as earlier in China, the mythical Phoenix was adopted as a symbol of the imperial household, particularly the empress. This mythical bird represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, fidelity, and the southern star constellations. According to legend (mostly from China), the Hō-ō appears very rarely, and only to mark the beginning of a new era -- the birth of a virtuous ruler, for example. In other traditions, the Hō-ō appears only in peaceful and prosperous times (nesting, it is said, in paulownia trees), and hides itself when there is trouble. As the herald of a new age, the Hō-ō decends from heaven to earth to do good deeds, and then it returns to its celestial abode to await a new era. It is both a symbol of peace (when the bird appears) and a symbol of disharmony (when the bird disappears). In China, early artifacts show the Phoenix (female) as intimately associated with the Dragon (male) -- the two are portrayed either as mortal enemies or as blissful lovers. When shown together, the two symbolize both conflict and wedded bliss, and are a common design motif even today in many parts of Asia. (taken from http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/ho-oo-phoenix.shtml)
This exuberant rendition of the phoenix is just wonderful; the vertically oriented design is elegant. There is a quite obvious patched repair on the upper portion of the cloth, otherwise the cloth is in good, faded condition.