212cm x 151 cm, circa 1870’s.
A lovely example, the deceptively simple composition of six cranes is elegant, beautifully balanced and boldly executed. The positioning of the cranes and their corresponding reflections are used in isolation to achieve a sense of depth without recourse to perspective or shading.
As with all Meiji period embroidery, the needlework is superb. An ingenious use of combined long and short stitches gives the birds form, texture and solidity using just a single colour ivory silk while the reflections utilise a subtle ombre effect, rendered in horizontal stitches with tremendous skill. The deep green silk ground is as attractive as it is unusual. We have never seen this colour on any other Japanese embroidery of the period.
A very rare early export created from two pieces of silk stitched together, dating it to the early 1870’s. (Following the Vienna Worlds Fair, (1873) the Kyoto silk merchants set about adapting their infrastructure to accommodate the new demand for larger silks to be displayed in the homes of wealthy europeans. Initially these larger pieces were made from two or more pieces of silk stitched together, before larger looms and wider bolts of silk could be produced).
Condition is remarkable, especially for its age. The ground is clean, the dye strong and unfaded. No losses to the embroidery. There were a couple of tiny holes (very difficult to spot) which have been professionally repaired, and the whole has been newly lined (in a heavy weight ivory cotton) and interlined. A pole sleeve has been attached in matching green silk, which along with the lining means the piece hangs especially well.
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Large Green Japanese Silk Wall Hanging
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