Handsome, elegant, typically chic Japanese designs: this is a black silk brocade Kimono from the early 20th century, circa 1900. It has been exquisitely hand painted onto the silk brocade, with each flying crane instilled with a naturalistic, life-like feeling. As you can see, the cranes cover the entire Kimono, including the voluminous sleeves, even gracing the shoulders. The vision of the brilliant white cranes against a black silk brocade creates a most striking vision.
The silk lining within the sleeves is a warm, rich amber colour, which the reverse side of the fringed sash also shows. As the sleeves have wide slits, the amber tones are revealed as the arm moves about.
For the Japanese, the crane is a symbol of good fortune and long life. Legend has it that this extraordinary, statuesque bird can live for over a thousand years, and is therefore referred to as the “bird of happiness”. The cranes are painted in a true to life white with fine details of the feathers, with grey and black shading, and the lovely touch of red from the top feathers above the crane’s eyes.
The Kimono is in very good condition, considering its age and the wear it must have had. It is, however, the cream coloured silk lining that has damage. (see photos) But on display or even being worn, this damage is not evident. I have not repaired the damage (although it has been attempted), but this can be professionally repaired. As this is a delicate silk textile, over 100 years old, wear must be expected. This is an antique. It can be worn. But from an antique collector’s point of view, it would be safer hung on the wall. And it would look both magnificent and stunning
The measurements are as follows;
Length: 54 ½ inches
Shoulders: 27 inches across, or one shoulder measured from the neck: 10 ½ inches
Breast: 26 ½ inches
Waist: 27 inches
Hips: 28 inches
Sleeve length: 13 inches
Sleeve width or arm opening: 20 inches
Sash length: 71 inches with 6 inches width
Antique Japanese Silk Kimono Robe with Painted Cranes
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