In our collection we have this Japanese picture frame from the 19th century.
The work is detailed and small scaled, it’s beautifully done with finesse and métier. The colors have faded and blend nicely into one another. Yet I’m convinced that even when newly done the color scheme would have been a well-balanced one.
It’s a precious and unusual object I have not seen any other alike. Having said that, it could well be that in other areas of this small planet there are plenty of them and that they are regarded as a banality. I you happen to be there and know more do not hesitate to share your thoughts.
They have no function but to add some Kitsch to the ensemble, it’s more likely that they’ve been added to please an international clientele.
There must be descriptions if this sort of designs somewhere out there but I couldn’t find any.
You can se for yourself, here’s my attempt.
It’s a geometrical pattern of squares and lozenges. In the two opposite corners of the squares, there are again squares and the other two opposite corners there are sort of circular flower ornaments. The whole surface is ornate with small geometrical patterns on which they have disposed raised floral ornaments. It’s all a bit over the top, one could use the term Horror Vacui.
Again the design is small scaled and the mould to produce this sort of pattern doesn’t need to be big I can imagine it being 50 X 50 cm.
The pattern itself must be inspired from a fabric or, why not, the other way around.
Your expertise is welcome to enlighten us.
In all western literature on leather craft I have found but one illustration of such a work it’s in a reference work called Leather Craft from Henri Clouzot edited in 1920, soon a century ago… the fragment is conserved in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris. Some similar leather panels are in the collection of Hermes Paris aswell.