« Benzaiten | Main | Swimming Carp »

Peony Pattern

Posted by Dave Bull at 8:53 PM, April 11, 2005

And now - as they say - for something completely different! This image dates from Showa 11 (1936), and is taken from a beautiful book published that year with a title that might be translated as 'Thinking About New Patterns', containing patterns designed by Hakamada Sekka.

I was very lucky to get this book. My friend the young printer 'S.U.' has a sort of 'side business' buying and selling woodblock related items; he found this book in a dealer's stock, bought it, and was planning to sell it on an internet auction. When I saw a couple of the images he had posted on-line though, I jumped up and down, "You can't sell this one that way! I need this for my work!"

So a couple of days later, the book arrived in my mailbox, and I had a chance to study it carefully. Unlike most pattern books, this one does not seem to be specifically aimed at providing ideas for craftsmen in any particular genre - kimono design, pottery, etc. - but seems rather to have been aimed at a general readership. I say 'readership', but there is not a word of text in the entire volume; simply we see page after page of beautifully executed designs, laid out in absolutely perfect arrangements, and all conceived in a most 'playful' style.

I had previously selected some other design for this spot in the Hanga Treasure Chest, but once I had this book in my hands I just couldn't resist making a last minute switch for the image you see here (this all happened just a couple of weeks ago). I remember now that I haven't even paid for the book yet - I have been too busy putting it to use! So I had better take care of that unfinished business, and will also let him know - strongly - that when he finds other attractive and interesting items like this, don't even think about selling them to somebody else!

After all, I - and through me, you collectors - have an insatiable appetite for interesting designs!

Monday, April 11, 2005

(Here's the print in context in the Treasure Chest series.)


Add Your Input

Remember Me? (with a cookie ...)

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Back to the Main Page