This beautiful piece of Katagami, Japanese stencil art work was purchased in an auction of an art/frame shop which closed in the early 70's. This lovely carved stencil was designed for resist pattern dying on Japanese kimonos. Katagami is carefully handmade by skilled craftsmen who specialize in stencil carving. Prior to the carving, several Japanese washi (or rice) papers are adjoined to form a single sheet of paper and then soaked in tannin-rich persimmon juice (kakishibu) which adds the wonderful warm brown tone to the paper and makes it durable and water resistant allowing the carvers to work in precision.This piece was probably exhibited or was left to be framed at one time but has not been framed. The production of Katagami, unfortunately began to wane after WWII, due to the development of more modern dyeing techniques. I have stored this work for approximately 36-38 years....no moisture, no smoke and although it is in excellent condition it would best serve as a work of art rather than being used as a stencil again. The bottom of the mat shows a typed label marked of early 20th. C. The artist is not known. This art stencil paper is 18 x 10 1/4. It is brittle and very fragile so I have not turned it over for photo, but the netting is still in place in the cut out areas. It has a very simple thin weight white mat which will have to be replaced. It is in absolute excellent condition and needs to be framed and loved by an art collector. I will be happy to frame this in an oriental moulding for you.