A stunning Japanese export silkwork of a delicate floral basket in shades of red, silver, white and gold set against a dramatic black silk ground.
In excellent condition, with just a few broken threads
The embroidery is amazingly bold and bright for its age, and contains a variety of skillful stitches, including gold work, couching, long-stitch and raised satin stitch.
Hibiscus and Chrysanthemum (or 'Kiku'), are used frequently in Japanese art, representing gentleness and longevity respectively. The chrysanthemum is also the Imperial Seal of Japan, and stylised versions of the flower appear throughout their culture.
When Japan reopened their trading ports with the West in 1854, Japanese art objects of all types surged into Europe in extraordinary quantities. The Japanese art style was a source of fascination for impressionist artists such as Van Gogh and Degas amongst many others of the period.
Arthur Lazenby Liberty saw the potential of this market in the UK and opened his first shop, Liberty in 1875 where he specialised in selling ornaments, fabric and objets d'art from Japan and the East. His shop was spectacularly successful and in no small part helped fuel the success of Japonisme in England.
This exquisite embroidery is typical of the silk goods imported by Liberty from Japan, made specifically for the export market, unframed, and later framed in the UK in contemporary frames of the period. I have seen one with a Japanese newspaper backing dated 1894, so we can be pretty sure of date.
In original typical decorative frame and mount of the period. Behind glass. Circa 1890
Sight. 17” x 15” 43 cm x 38 cms
Frame 21” x 18.5” 52 cm x 47 cms