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Detail, Maru Obi with gosho-guruma (noble's carriage) and cranes

1912/1940

The Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art

A long narrow stiff obi composed of one width folded in half of complex-woven nishiki fabric (polychrome figured silk with wefts of silk and metal-leafed paper strips wrapped around a silk or cotton thread core). The pattern consists of elaborate Heian era aristocrats' carriages (gosho-guruma) accompanied by snow medallions (yuki wa) outlined in white containing chrysanthemums and a glimpse of a garden fence alternating with other snow medallions (yuki wa) containing “The Three Friends in Winter” (pine, bamboo, and plum blossoms) representing faithfulness, flexibility, and fortitude. Between snow medallions (yuki wa) are cloud motifs with Chinese flowers enclosed within diamond shapes (karabanabishi) and cranes, which symbolize longevity and marital fidelity. These patterns are created by wefts of green, purple, pink, orange, peach, grey, reddish-brown, white, black, and gold metallic threads.
The obi has been opened along one long and one short edge. The lining, which would have stiffened the obi even more, has been removed.

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Details

  • Title: Detail, Maru Obi with gosho-guruma (noble's carriage) and cranes
  • Date Created: 1912/1940
  • Physical Dimensions: 162-1/4 x 12-3/4 in.
  • Provenance: Bequest of Sylvia G. Straton, Rhinebeck, New York
  • Medium: Silk with supplementary wefts of silk, Metal-leafed paper strips wrapped around a silk or cotton thread core
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Sylvia G. Straton, Rhinebeck, New York. BMA 2002.689

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