Large silver geisha kanzashi (hair pin) with a family crest of three Kikyo (bellflower) blossoms within the kikko (tortoiseshell) hexagonal frame. Unique kanzashi for an elaborate hairdo. This kanzashi looks better than the photos shown. 9" long, late Meiji/Taisho period.
*The hexagon motif is a typical example of a pattern that was first popular among the courtly associates as a decoration on clothing, furnishings, carriages, and the like, and was later adopted as a formal heraldic emblem. The tortoise is associated with the god of the north and this is probably because the official emblem of the very influential Izumo Shrine is located in the northern part of Japan. Parishioners of Izumo and its associated shrines frequently adopted the hexagon as their own family crest to commemorate their devotion. Three flowers inside of kikko is “kikyo”. Kikyo, with its beautiful velvet like indigo color, has been a popular flower painted by Japanese artists. It was adopted as an emblem by the samurai warriors since the thirteen century.
*The Elements of Japanese Design by John W. Dower