Friday, June 25, 2010

The object #6 Asian parasol

I found this lovely paper parasol in my grandmother's house, when she died. I have no idea where it is from, when it was made, why my grandmother had it. But I brought it home because it was so lovely. It resides in a basket of umbrellas near my front door. I have never figured out a way to display it. The paper part is a bit faded, but the design is very graphic and a favorite combination of indigo blue, white and orange-red. The bamboo handle has intricate little designs on it. I can't tell if they were printed or burned into the bamboo. The most fascinating part, for me, is the structure on the inside that supports the open parasol. It is made from split bamboo and strung with an intricate system of colored thread that seems to be both decorative and functional.

click for a larger view of this


  1. Beautiful brolly! I real family treasure!

    My bookmark arrived this morning. Thank you so much - it is perfect! I wish I could see the quilt in real life!

    I will treasure my little part of it!



  2. Terry, I had one years ago that I hung from the corner of the ceiling/walls, right up in the very corner. Of course you couldn't see the intricate inside, but it worked for display. You could even have a small wattage light inside.

  3. Beautiful umbrella! And a fun mystery as to why your grandmother had it. I have seen them hung beautifully, suspended from the handles so you look up at the full open top of the open umbrella -- but that assumes you have a ceiling high enough to do that (and then you wouldn't see the lovely inside works. Maybe you'll just have to stroll around your garden carrying it on the occasional (!) sunny day!

  4. As a child, I used one like this for years. I remember hating mine since it's "old fashioned" & everyone else had modern ones while I have this wax-paper oldie. Sadly, I no longer have my oldie :( .
    This is possibly a Chinese umbrella & the red flowers could be peonies or chrysanthemum - very common Chinese floral motifs. Happy summer!

  5. If I'm remembering correctly, umbrellas like these were given away as prizes at local fairs....a long time ago. I think that my Grandmother had one, too! Maybe that helps with the mystery. It's beautiful, though!

  6. *It's lovely. I have a similar one that was given to me by a Japanese classical dancer who had used hers in a "sakura" dance routine. Mine is purple and white. Like you, I wish I could figure out a way to display it.