Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses, Embroidery and gold leaf on plain-weave silk patterned with warp floats, Japan

染分紗綾地蜘蛛海松貝模様小袖
Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
early 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Embroidery and gold leaf on plain-weave silk patterned with warp floats
Dimensions:
Overall: 60 1/2 x 49 in. (153.7 x 124.5 cm)
Classification:
Costumes
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul T. Nomura, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. S. Morris Nomura, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.253
Not on view
This sumptuous robe is among the earliest extant kosode (garment with small sleeve openings). The natural scenery of Japan’s coast, with its beaches strewn with shells and sea grass, inspired the delicate embroidered design. The foundation fabric, woven in an intricate key-fret pattern with floral motifs, was likely imported from China in its white, undecorated state. It was then resist dyed to achieve the effect of irregular sandbanks, and the marine motifs were embroidered on top. The alternating bands of light blue were further embellished with gold-leaf accents.
Paul T. and Betty M. Nomura , Albany, CA (1992; donated to the MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Noh Robes," 1993.

Kyoto National Museum. "Kyoto Style: Trends in 16th–19th Century Kimono," October 19, 1999–November 23, 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: Two Decades of Collecting Japanese Art," 2007.