A brocade tobacco bag

juillet 2020

A brocade tobacco bag

A magnificent piece of crafts is this brocade tobacco bag from Japan. Brocade is a fabric with woven metal threads. In this case, these are weft threads of gold that give the background of the pattern a beautiful reflection. The design itself, executed in wool in muted autumn colors, shows leaf branches with flowers that evenly cover the entire object. To keep the tobacco fresh, the inside of the tobacco bag is doubled with leather. A second status factor of this tobacco bag is the lock plate, which in Japan is always made in several metals. Here the lock is a lion of burnished copper with a golden flower and some extra gold accents. The gold inlay forms a nice repetition of the gold threads in the fabric. We hardly know tobacco bags like this from other cultures. In Japan they were commonly used for more than a century, intended as a utensil, but above all a luxurious fashion accessory for kimono wear. Hanging from the belt with the pipe holder as a counterweight, they were the status object par excellence.

Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 23.965

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