Edo Period Uchishiki Altar Cloth
Brocade (probably Nishiki brocade) uchishiki Buddhist altar cloth. These cloths were usually donated to temples and varying degress of detail were recorded on the back - I haven't translated all the text but it was definitely made in 1858. (4th year of Ansei and also 'hinotomi' - 54th year of zodiac cycle starting in 1804). It was made for the Entsuji Temple. There are well-known Entsuji Temples in both Kyoto and Tokyo, and probably elsewhere, so I can't say which one it might have been.
This is a large cloth approx 200cm x 127 cm. Like most uchishiki it has a panel of plain white fabric along one edge which is the part which was placed on top of the altar so that it didn't matter if it was damaged by incense etc - this one has some water stains. The brocade is in good, but not perfect, condition for its age. The weaving is worn in parts and definitely needs a home away from sunlight. A rare and lovely old treasure!
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