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Usu zumi.

Kyoto, Imao Private Library, Drapery, c. 1870 Stock Code: 109982

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A stunning and uncommon design manuscript for early Meiji-era textiles, fan papers, and packaging, including stylised landscapes, delicately rendered thistles, a collection of subtly coloured seashells, cranes emerging from riverside bamboo, and a number of more abstract designs. A very pleasing collection, viewed from a practical, or purely aesthetic viewpoint.

This is delightful collection of designs executed during the early Meiji period as a model-book for kimonos and fans, and still retains the subdued Japanese sumi aesthetic which would gradually be eroded by Western influences as the century drew to a close. This collection features a wide and attractive range of motifs including a number of self-referential images of fan papers, silk moths with bobbins and unspooled thread, bolts, and swatches of textiles.

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Oblong Folio (310 x 390 mm). Original light brown paper-covered boards, delicately written calligraphy title mounted on front panel, together with a later ownership label in upper corner, bound in accordion-style format.


35 hand-painted designs with delicately rendered ink paintings with pale wash colour on unsized paper, backed with old manuscripts, marginal calligraphic annotations on design and style to many images.


Externally quite rubbed and scuffed, internally lightly browned and with some marginal finger-soiling, occasional minor worming, but overall very good. Mounted on the front "pastedown" is a Chinese colour print of two women in elaborate gowns playing go, trimmed and framed by an embossed, gilt printed frame which incorporates the Royal Arms, the arms of the City of London and some version of the arms of Bradford, perhaps a textile label as it has been annotated "No. 775, 52 Y[ar]ds".


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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