[Fabric Sample Album]
Wakan Meibutsu Kodai Resshū 和漢名物古代裂集 [Vintage Scraps of the Noted Productions of China and Japan]
N.p. n.d. (Kyoto?)
Orihon folding album 30 x 20.8cm in fabric covered boards with brushed fabric title label with a red hanko. It is clear that, though this album was put together in the early 20th century, the 277 samples selected are much older. The title roughly translates to, “Vintage Scraps of the Noted Productions of China and Japan.” It appears that the final character in the title is a wonderfully imaginative one, creating a pun to mean, “collection.” Designs of many eras with various fabrics, including silk brocades, and colors, all mounted together in this “idea book” which may have belonged to a textile designer in modern Japan.
From the title, “meibutsugire 名物裂” refers to, “dyed and woven products mainly shipped from China's Song, Gen, and Ming dynasties from the Middle Ages to the early modern period in Japan.” The influence and incorporation of Chinese textiles into the Japanese world of fabric dyeing and weaving for traditional attire and household items, based in Kyoto, is well documented. Here we have many deep colors, such as navy, olive and persimmon, with metallic threads and embroidery, in botanical and geometric patterns. There is even a landscape with a deer and a bird. The book was put together with great care, and the pieces, varying in shape and size, some as many as 25 swatches on a page, are placed to fit nicely on each page.
Dirt staining of cover fabric with fraying and chipping at corners. Some foxing to backing paper; fabric has worming in some areas (prior to being laid down?), otherwise fabric is in good condition. All lovely to look at and well-preserved.