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"Paulownia Crest" Vintage Fukusa

"Paulownia Crest" Vintage Fukusa

Solid Backside

Regular price $15.00
Regular price $20.00 Sale price $15.00
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Ships from NY
  • One-of-a-kind
  • Sourced from Japan
This listing is for a vintage fukusa gift cover. See explanation below for how fukusa are used and a bit about their history.

This fukusa is a classic red silk with a large paulownia crest in white which identifies the family giving the gift. The backside is the same red, lightweight silk, allowing the fukusa to drape softly over the shape of the gift beneath.

Each corner has just a few red silk threads instead of the more common tassles. There is a small area of blemishing on the back - see photos.

Small fukusa like these might have been covers for money envelopes at a semi-formal or more casual gift-giving event (rather than a more formal event, such as a wedding).

From Wikipedia:
Fukusa are a type of Japanese textile used for gift-wrapping....Fukusa are square or almost square pieces of lined fabric ranging in size from about 9–36 inches (230–910 mm) along one side. They are typically made of fine silk, and may be decorated with embroidery in auspicious designs.

The use of fukusa as a way of presenting gifts has mostly died out, lingering instead mainly in certain ritual exchanges of gifts during weddings in a few regions of Japan.

Traditionally in Japan, gifts were placed in boxes or on a wooden or lacquered tray, over which a fukusa would be draped. The choice of a fukusa appropriate to the occasion was considered an important part of the gift itself, and part of its formality. The practice of covering a gift became widespread during the Edo period (1603-1867).

The scene or motifs depicted on fukusa are chosen to indicate either the occasion for which the gift is being given, or because they are appropriate for one of the annual festivals when gifts are exchanged. The richness of the decoration of the fukusa attests to the giver's wealth and aesthetics.

Once a gift was exchanged, after being admired, the fukusa and box or tray presented with the gift are typically returned to the gift's original giver. However, before the Meiji Restoration, when gifts were presented to a high official, the fukusa was not always returned.

Length: 15"
Width: 12.5"
Condition: Excellent
Material: Silk


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