A Silk Buddhist Altar Dressing: Elaborately Couched and Embroidered Details
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
43 1/2″ x 44″, 110 cm x 101.5 cm
This magnificently shimmering and festive textile is a dressing for a Buddhist altar that has been fashioned from elaborate silks taken from formal kimonos.
The silks--chirimen or crepe silks embroidered with silk floss and damask silks that have been embellished with gold couching--are luxurious textiles which were donated by a patron to the temple where this dressing was displayed.
Twenty four streamers of various silks comprise this dressing; each one is hand sewn with a paper backing for strength, support and for the ease of stitching.
Note the marvelous terminals of each of the streamers, the zig zag design suggesting the matsu kawabisihi or pine bark motif.
Some of the silks have degraded over time to reveal the lining paper underneath, which can be seen in the photos attached. In some cases, a streamer will be quite bald of silk and the paper is quite apparent.
We showed this fantastic textile on our blog here.Wonderfully unusual, very beautiful and very recommended.