A Richly Decorated Tsutsugaki Furoshiki: Rare Image and Color

$495.00 USD

late nineteenth century
43" x 37", 109 cm x 94 cm

This is a beautifully executed tsutsugaki dyed cotton furoshiki that shows a fairly unusual image. At first glance it appears to be the often-seen phoenix, but a quick, further look shows that this marvelous bird is surrounded by peacock feathers--it is not a phoenix.

Peacock images are few and far between on traditional Japanese textiles so to have this image highlighted in the manner it is is something rare.

Add to that is the unusual background tone of a kind of dull ochre color--this, too, is rarely seen so in combination with the large, central image the two components make for an gloriously hard-to-find textile.

This was used as a furoshiki which is a cloth used to wrap, carry, haul and store things.

As such this cloth has some small nicks to the surface (look at the detail photos) and shows wear in the form of slight surface abrasion and some ingrained dirt. (The furoshiki has been carefully and thoroughly washed.)

The drawing of the peacock is somehow Cubist in its flatness and in the sense that you can see all angles of the bird simply by looking straight on to it. Impressive. Add to that, note the various expressions of feathers that the artisan drew in great detail and with much variation. 

So much visual delight on this cloth, it is a rare joy for the eyes and the spirit.