Fukusa, Japanese Gift Cover, Pine, Bamboo and Plums on Fans: This type of fukusa is a covering placed over a gift at the time of a gift-giving ceremony such as "Yui-noh" which is held prior to a wedding. This is an elegant old satin silk Fukusa in excellent condition. It is not as shiny as it looks in photos. The lining is an old, red (light red color, not orange as it appears in some photos) crepe silk with padding on the rims. Exceptionally beautiful work of embroidery and silver couching (overlaying of threads rather than going in and out of the base fabric) are all done by hand.
The pine, bamboo and plum blossoms are all auspicious motifs found in nature. The evergreen pine symbolizes the strength and devotion of men; plum blossoms are purity, subtle beauty and inner strength of women. The bamboos are often used to describe the personality of men and women, as straight as bamboo. They are not only straight but also strong and can bend (flexible) to a great extent. Together, it is called "Sho chiku bai" and it is as standard a decoration to the Japanese New Years as an ornamented tree is to Christmas. It is an appropriate gift cover prior to the wedding when couples exchange gifts.
Dimensions: 23 ½ inches W x 26 ½ inches L, circa late Edo to early Meiji (1868-1912).