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A very rare and exceptional pair of Japanese silk wall hangings, circa 1890. Aprox 122cm x 276cm each. (48 x 108 inches)
The design, of three peacocks among cherry blossoms on a deep and glamorous carmine ground, is spread across both hangings to create a single, hugely impressive piece 2.4 metres wide by almost 3 metres high.
The embroidery is of exhibition quality and utilises a huge range of techniques to produce the colours and texture of peacock feathers. The entirely successful replication of iridescence on the neck of the lower bird (of the right hand hanging) is an incredible achievement. Real gold thread weaves in and out of sight among the blue, green and gold silks, subtly lifting and heightening the feathers even further.
No time or expense has been spared in creating these works. Every single thread has been laid with tremendous care and forethought. Colours are blended at the level of individual threads: a gold thread wraps around a purple one to create a single two tone strand of silk, gradually lessening until only the gold is left to form the adjacent colour. This is the kind of unsurpassed skill that makes Meiji textiles so special and so fascinating. The graphic simplicity of the design and the boldness of the colour also mark these out as exceptional.
Condition is almost perfect. There are maybe two loose, but not detached, threads to the embroidery. Some minor pulled threads along the top edge of the ground from how they were hung at one point. The ground is otherwise completely intact and clean. (We have detected one small stain to the right hanging, to the left of the lower peacocks shoulder, but it is very minor, you need to examine carefully to notice this). There is a minor stain on the back of each that appears to be from some type of liquid. These are without question in the best condition we have seen on any type of Meiji embroidery. Tremendously rare to find one this good, to have two this good is very special.
We have had a new pocket sleeve hand stitched to the tops in colour matched silk so they can be hung straight and evenly from a narrow pole with a minimum of creasing. While we have carefully steamed out a lot of the creases, there is still some natural creasing to the ground. This is down to a minimum, and they will be rolled for storage and shipping to prevent any further fold lines occurring.
Please use the link to see more images, there is more to show than we can get on a listing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uKDWYcrkBaeMl1Fvgft8VkPVgBr5kMca/view?usp=sharing
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Superb Matching Pair Meiji Peacock Embroideries
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