A Small Fragment of Couched and Embroidered Damask Silk: 18th Century

$125.00 USD

late 18th century
6 1/2" x 5 1/4", 16.5 cm x 13.25 cm

This beautifully made, highly decorated silk cloth fragment was taken from a kosode which is a classic type of luxury kimono that was worn by women in the top stratum of society during the Edo period (1615-1868).

This fragment is made of rinzu or a figured silk satin which was dyed in a rich, chocolately brown color. It shows a crowded field of auspicious images that have been embroidered in silk floss and couched in gold-covered paper yarn.

What we see here is stupendously good hand work: wonderfully tight and precise embroidered silk floss, golden threads that are couched, the images are magically rich in good intention: a money pouch, stylized cloves, scrolls, counterweights and traditional Buddhist symbols adorn this very small piece of tremendously adept needle work.

Because kosode were such a luxury it was not unusual that they were donated to temples or shrines in order for them to be transformed into liturgical vestments of altar cloths, for example.


The fragment is backed with paper which can be seen in the last image on this post.

This small, very old object is a treasure and for its age it is in good condition.