Yorke Antique Textiles

A collection of antique and vintage textiles from around the world

Item Details
Late Meiji (1880-1912)
An extraordinary woman's silk haori featuring good luck symbols created utilizing yuzen and freehand painting, with embroidery highlights. 50" from sleeve-end to sleeve-end x 31" height. This is an early haori - we know of no woman's haori predating the late Meiji period. We assume that this was a formal haori created at great expense for a woman of an important family. The overall impression is of a Japanese garment like no other that we have yet encountered: huge auspicious motifs arranged closely together, some superimposed over others, resulting in a bold graphic powerful statement. All the motifs can be grouped in to what the Japanese refer to as 'takara-zukushi' (all kinds of treasures). The treasures that we can identify include 'kakuregasa' (hat of invisibilty); 'tsuchi' (mallet, which when struck grants all the bearer's wishes); 'magatama' (ancient curved bead); 'nunobukuro' (bag of unlimited wealth); 'chouji' (cloves); 'makimono' (scrolls of wisdom and longevity); and 'shippo' ( overlapping circles). The 'shippo' seven-treasures design appeared in the late Heian period as an abstraction from a large overall pattern of overlapping circles, the overlap being exactly equal on all four sides. The seven treasures are gold, silver, crystal coral, agate, pearl and lapis lazuli. Symbols of wealth, prosperity and longevity, treasures like these were first used in designs for clothing during the Muromachi era to bring good fortune to the wearer. The original "treasures" came to Japan as Buddhist teachings from India and China but later became more secular in tone.
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