Kesa

A work made of silk; plain weave self-patterned by rows of gauze crossings, embroidered with silk.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silk; plain weave self-patterned by rows of gauze crossings, embroidered with silk.

Date:

19th century, Edo period (1789–1868)/ Meiji period (1868–1912)

Artist:

Japan

About this artwork

While this work may initially appear to be a decorative hanging showing various forms of marine life, closer inspection reveals that it is indeed a kesa pieced into a composition of seven columns. The embroidered decoration is not aquatic at all but rather consists of three varieties of motifs—a phoenix, Paulownia flowers and leaves, and the family crest of the Tokugawa family, which ruled Japan during the Edo period. From each of these motifs emerge three or four curving tendrils. Unpatterned areas were planned to fall in the folds when the kesa was worn.

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Textiles

Title

Kesa

Origin

Japan

Date

1801–1900

Medium

Silk; plain weave self-patterned by rows of gauze crossings, embroidered with silk

Dimensions

109.6 x 176.8 cm (43 1/8 x 69 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Ralph E. Hays in memory of Mary Van Artsdalen Hays

Reference Number

2004.983

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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