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An Intricately Pieced Silk Bell Pillow: Dated Taisho 12

Written on April 17, 2012

This round-shaped pillow is constructed from tiny pieces of a variety of naturally dyed and chemically dyed silks which have been pieced together in a spirited fashion, the piecing appearing almost like a rose.The pillow, nicely weighted with a filling of grain or grain husks, is from a Buddhist temple and it was used as a mount for a bowl-shaped brass bell.    Around the circumference of the pillow is a pictorial, appliqued design of lotuses in a pond.This is a really lovely thing, and those of you who have visited Buddhist temples in Japan no doubt have seen textiles made in a similar fashion: often altar covers are fashioned in the same spirit, and often with donated, luxurious silks.The pillow dates to Taisho 12 or approximately 1924, however this technique of piece constructed fabric has a centuries-old history.  The pillow measures  7″ tall by 12″ in diameter or 18 cm x 30.25 cm.

I love it.




Comments closed

  1. Comment by Tokyo Jinja:

    The link between American and Japanese piece work and quilting is ever so apparent in this piece. What an amazing lovely find!

    April 17, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  2. Comment by Claudia:

    Thank you Stephen , for this memorable piece of work as you posted on my birthday 17 April! It’s beautiful and I do hope to visit Japanese temples to see for myself but in the meantime-I love it too!

    April 20, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  3. Comment by Nancy:

    What a creative idea. A big pillow would be so nice.

    September 7, 2012 @ 4:37 pm