A Tattered and Faded Tsutsugaki Futon Cover: Ghosts of Tea Ceremony Utensils
late nineteenth century
65" x 50", 165 cm x 127 cm
This is a very, very faded, tattered and patched tsutsugaki dyed cotton futon cover that is showing large "blanks" or "ghosts" that represent a design based on tea ceremony utensils.
When this futon cover was new each of the blank spaces we see here was filled with decorated detail, most of it probably hand tinted and painted. Over time, these painted areas faded and their colors were washed away, leaving only large, undyed areas.
Those familiar with the Japanese traditional tea ceremony will be able to identify the implements and objects depicted here, probably just from their outlines. But from the purely aesthetic point of view, the combination of these large, pale forms arranged against a super-faded, worn-out background has a kind of special beauty.
The tea ceremony utensil technique was one that was often seen on futon covers in old Japan, and this design was often used when putting together a wedding trousseau.
Holes, patches and tatters can be seen on the accompanying detail images.
Just beautiful; not for everyone.