Asian Antiques by Silk Road
Meiji Silk Embroidered Uchikake

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Okimono: Pre 1920: item # 594452

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Meiji Silk Embroidered Uchikake
This Japanese silk uchikake, or outer kimono, from the late Meiji Period has the effect of a dramatic painting, with gold clouds floating among sumptuous blooms spilling from a wheeled cart. Strong shades of blue, red and green are contrasted with delicate pastel flowering branches against a black silk faille background. Several Japanese textile techniques are used to achieve the spectacular effect. Gold elements are done both in couching, which involves wrapping gold around silk thread, and a technique called surikaku, which involves applying gold leaf to the fabric surface. Embroidered elements are created from silk floss using a variety of stitches for shading and a three-dimensional look. Soft red silk is used for the lining and padded hem. With its opulent colors and black background, this one-of-a-kind uchikake could have been worn in the Noh theater or as an unusual wedding uchikake. The wheeled cart is a symbol often associated with weddings to represent the Buddhist wheel of law. The uchikake, originally worn as an outer garment by women of the court or privileged classes, came into use as wedding attire during the Edo Period. It is worn unbelted with the padded hemline trailing on the floor. As are all kimono, the uchikake is constructed from a single panel of fabric with carefully conceived designs that can be cut and fitted together to form a continuous "painting." Striking when displayed as works of art, uchikake can be suspended from a hidden bamboo pole, as shown here. The padded hemline can be allowed to "puddle," or it can be shown full length from the back with the front panels pulled open to display the entire design. This uchikake is in excellent condition. Dimensions of this piece when displayed full length with the sleeves extended: height 75" (191 cm), width 53" (135 cm). SEE MORE ITEMS IN OUR COLLECTION AT WWW.SILKROAD1.COM

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