Kosode (part of wedding ensemble?)
Black figured silk (rinzu), silk padding
Embroidery, metallic paperbacked thread, yuzen dyeing (dyes and pigments)

This may be one of a set of three garments in a wedding set. The layers would have been red, black and white. The back of the garment, above, is completely without decoration. The front of the garment, below, has a minimum of decoration, and that at the hem. This is likely from the Meiji period.

Interestingly, while kimonos with minimal designs tend to concentrate designs on the left side of the hem (since the left side is draped over, and hides, the right side), in this piece, the only decorations are on the right side.

Even the flowers in the lining are on the right side of the lining (below).

There are two varieties of flowers: the chrysanthemum and the paulownia, both of which are closely associated with the imperial aristocracy, and viewed as auspicious symbols.

In the photo below, the paulownia is represented luxuriously: The leaves are rendered in delicate yuzen dyeing, with highlights in metallic thread, the flowers in small white silk embroidery thread, and the vines are colored with pigments, and occasional glints on metallic thread.

Below the petals of the large chrysanthemum are painted in sumi. Its center is rendered in French knots, with small accents around it in pink pigment. To its left is a green pigmented leaf; to its right are pink and green blossoms with touches of metallic thread. Under the large chrysanthemum are six small “manju” (“bean jam bun”) chrysanthemums, barely described as circles in blue pigment, each with a single white silk stitch at the center.

The family crest, one of many variations on the paulownia crest, is stenciled and hand painted.

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