An Excellent Length of Katazome Cotton: Large Tortoises
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
60" x 13", 152 cm x 33 cm
This is a really wonderful length of old indigo dyed cotton katazome cloth that shows a repeat of large-scale tortoises moving amid a field of cherry blossoms and decorative arcs.
As is well known, the tortoise is a symbol for longevity which is why it appears on this cloth--more than likely this panel was taken from a duvet which was part of a couple's wedding trousseau; auspicious symbols were often depicted on textiles used for this purpose.
The tortoises are rendered in great detail and are shown in nice contrast to the slightly faded indigo ground. There is a very, very faint stain shown in detail photos attached and this is barely noticeable.
An extremely good quality piece of katazome cotton, this is a beauty from old Japan.