Japanese Yūzen-Birodo cut velvet 天鵝絨 of the Tōshō-gū Shinto shrine set in a forest, bearing label of the leading textile firm Nishimura Sozaemon-Kyoto 西村総左衛門, Meiji period 1868-1912.
The Tōshōgū Shrine 東照宮 is located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1868 Nishimura invented this technique. The velvet was woven by passing the threads over fine metal wires parallel to the woof and then cut to form the pile. The precise cutting would achieve a chiaroscuro three-dimensional effect.The first example of Yūzen-Birodo was exhibited at the Second National Industrial Exhibition in Tokyo in 1881.
During the Meiji Era their address was Kyoto-shi, Kamigyo-ku, Sanjokarasuma nishi iru, Mikura-cho, Kyoto.
The firm exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1899, the Third National Industrial Exhibition Tokyo in 1881, the National Industrial Exposition in 1903, and the St. Louis Exposition in 1904.
The Imperial household honoured Mr. Nishimura with an order for 24 pieces of embroidery. In recognition of his services towards the art of embroidery he was awarded with the Order of the Green Cordon, and also decorated with the 6th Order of the Sacred Treasure. Today the Nishimura Sozaemon merchant house is better known as with its trade name Chiso.
Reference: 'Threads of silk and gold, Ornamental Textiles from Meiji Japan', by H.T. McDermott and C. Pollard, The Oxford Ashmolean Museum Catalogue Exhibition, 2012, pp. 160-169.
For a similar example see : 'Splendors of Meiji, Treasures of Imperial Japan' by Joe Earle, the Kibo Foundation 2002, no. 280 pg. 393.
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