silk temple cloth, Japan, Meiji (circa 1880), cm 111x108. This is an ‘uchishiki’, a squarish cloth of rich silk used to cover the front of altars in Buddhist temples. It is made of burgundy silk damask of ‘douko’ patterns (those used to decorate the ancient copper mirrors), and a superimposed bold swastika (in white silk with design of flowers), a sacred symbol in Buddhism and known in Japanese as ‘manji’, the concept of universal harmony and the balance of opposites. In particular, when facing left (as in this case) it also represents love and mercy, so rather appropriate for use within a temple… It is lined with a cotton fabric recycled from an hand-painted banner, such those presented to the temple itself by the devotees. Condition is very good, particularly given age. a bold and gorgeous witness of a past time, indeed.
price:  SOLD