Aya Nishiki 綾錦 [Design album]. Late Meiji-Taisho Era. Oversize design album in boards approx. 69 x 43cm with 99 sheets approx 77.5 x 45cm. Each sheet has a rectangular design approx. 47.5 x 34.5cm, about two-thirds with penciled gridlines for production. Holes in the right hand margin for binding. Hand-brushed title on front board reads 綾錦 [Aya Nishiki] with 山田 [Yamada] on the lower right hand side.
Lovely hand-painted designs with botanical, pictorial, abstract, traditional Japanese and Western motifs, likely for kimono or other textiles and possibly for embroidery or weaving. Silver and bronze metallic accents on a number of designs. A few patterns have a transparent paper overlay where a design was revised. These appear to be preliminary sketches before being made into a woodblock print or stencil. Some show signs of Karazuri 空刷り, key block blind printing, or a scoring of the paper surface to designate a border or placement of a design.
Most pages have some type of identification in the margins, such as a stamped hanko, penciled notes, stamped or handwritten pattern number, and/or a handwritten date within a stamped box. A few have the name 山田 [Yamada] handwritten in pencil on the bottom and some have production directions, all in Japanese.
2 small labels on the rear board with “91 original paintings” and “Kyoto, Japan” handwritten in English. Wear to boards and toning to rear and margins of sheets.