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Magnificent Kyoto Nishijin Obi

Magnificent Kyoto Nishijin Obi

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Textiles: Pre 1920: Item # 876519
Asian Art By Kyoko
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This is a Japanese Nishijin obi made in exceptionally high quality. The obi is old but almost in perfect condition. It is beautiful to look at even without using a magnifying glass. The soft colors have an earth tone and the use of the dyed threads tells us that this is a superior work of Kyoto Nishijin. The scenery is of the mountains of Kyoto but if you look closely, you might notice that there is a foreign look to some of the structures. The size of each structure is 1" to 2.5". The temples are not the usual kinds that you find in Japan; they are Chinese temples/pavilions with arch shaped entrances. The elegant roof with wavy ends is a Ming (Chinese) style roof, I believe. The pyramid shaped brick/stone structure with pebbles underneath is a Chinese stone bridge. Could this be the scenery of Suzhou (near Shanghai) in old China?

The base fabric is a tan color that can look quite dark (brownish tan color) when it is seen indoors. The threads used on this obi are delicate and very thin. The weft (side way threads) is very thin (1/100 mm) but you see them under the sunlight. The warp (upward and downward threads) appears to be almost braided; 2-4 are woven together (you would need a magnifying glass). The design is done with luscious untwisted silk. The detail on this obi is not something that we have seen before. Formal silk Maru obi (design on both sides from top to bottom) from the Meiji period.

REFERENCE: These websites include photos of Chinese architecture, bridges, stone bridges, Suzhou and Shanghai area, etc.