A Panel from a Tsutsugaki Dyed Futon Cover: Auspicious Motifs as Roundels

$135.00 USD

late nineteenth century
59 1/2" x 13 1/4", 151 cm x 33.5 cm

This is an indigo dyed tsutsugaki panel taken from a futon cover and it shows three images designed as roundels.

Each of the images is powerfully auspicious which is not surprising: the futon cover from which this was taken was more than likely made to be included in a bridal trousseau, so the conveyance of good fortune is to be expected on such items given at such a milestone in a couple's life.

At the top we see a crane, which is a symbol of longevity.  More than that, because cranes mate for life they are a symbol of marital fidelity. Because the crane is such an elegant creature it also suggests a regal form of beauty.

The center shows pine and the bottom roundel shows plum and bamboo. Together these three images are known in Japan as shochikubai. Shochikubai is a classic, auspicious pattern and it is often used for cloth to be included in a bridal trousseau.  The plum is the first bloom to burst forth from the winter's ice and is symbol of strength and courage, the bamboo bends but does not break so it is a symbol of resilience, and the pine, of course conveys a wish for longevity.  Also, pine needles fall in pairs, and thus they symbolize conjugal fidelity.

The cloth is hand spun and hand woven cotton, the indigo dye is a deep, deep blue tone.  The length is in good, used condition with hardly any wear at all.

A cloth rich in embedded meaning this would be marvelous gift to give someone special.