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Item Silk Fukusa portraying the ancient Japanese marital fidelity legend of Takasago. (download story), There's some hand embroidery (his rake) on the front and all the images were applied by the tsutsugaki method and then the fine details were hand painted (faces, body, cranes, etc). On the reverse side, one sees hand placed gold accent threads and the red silk background shows faint images of cranes and vegetation.
Age
Mid 1900s
Size
28 X 30 inches
70 X 75 cm
Condition
Very Good Condition
No spots, no tears no fraying
Comment Fukusa are lined silk cloths used as coverings for formal gifts. Most are elaborately decorated with subjects symbolically appropriate for a particular significant event, usually a wedding. It was part of a bride's trousseau and made for her use for the extensive formal gift-giving ritutals that take place before and during a wedding.
Comment (con't)
A gift was set on a lacquer tray and covered with a fukusa for presentation. Over time the presentation method changed but a small table and fukusa have remained the primary accoutrements of formal gift-giving since the early eighteenth century.

Smaller types of fukusa are commonly used in tea ceremonies.