Antique Japanese Kimono Accessory

Vintage Japanese Faceted Lapis Lazuli Obi-Dome Clasp


Age:Late 1930s

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 1-3/8”h ” x 2-1/8”w

As part of our oriental collection, we are delighted to offer this beautifully Japanese, gorgeous faceted Lapis Obi-Dome belt buckle, with a silver buckle clasp. The jewel-like cutting of this Lapis lazuli, or Lapis for short, is a deep-blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color. The piece is framed with a decorative border with mica flecks around the center faceted panel. This gemstone also has ground facets to frame the center portion for which the entire piece is polished to a mirror-like finish to aid light reflection from the surface of the stone, making each blue surface a snapshot of a night's skyline full of stars. Pieces like this, because of the expense of this quality of jewelry, were only used by a Japanese Oiran (fashionable women at the historic height of their profession known as tayū).

Condition: Excellent, wonderful care given to a vintage piece. Unmarked as related to the quality of the silver on the clasp. Wonderful for its intended purpose but also could be repurposed into a handsome brooch.

NOTE: In the latter period of the Edo age [1603-1867], Obi-dome became the invention of the Oiran and was later adopted by the Geisha from wealthy families. Wealthy Oiran and Geisha adorned their obi with bronze Kanemono and Menuki (metal fittings) of Katana (Japanese sword) as a vow of love. Later numerous kinds of Obi-dome were made of material not limited to and including coral, jade, precious stones, Chrystal, ivory, tortoise-shell, cloisonné, glass, gold, silver, and pottery.