Site Review of Yorke Antique Textiles
Here at www.yokodana.com (YokoDana Kimono) from time to time we like to cast a spotlight on quality web sites when we come across them. We do this not for commercial reasons but because we feel it is important to acknowledge and reward excellence when we see it -- especially relating to our own passion --Japanese textile arts. For the purposes of our site, of course, our focus for these blog reviews is on those who share our love of Japanese traditional culture and have taken the time to learn about it -- in particular Japanese textiles, kimonos and related.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Today's site spotlight is on a business based in Nova Scotia, Canada, run by Roger and Amparo Yorke called Yorke Antique Textiles. We first started noticing pictures of their striking kimonos through their posts on a tumblr.com feed which we follow through bloglovin.com. When we noticed the number and quality of their pictures we then spent time on their blog (tumblr) and then studied their website. While they do deal in other world-wide textiles (great stuff there also!) their more recent focus seems to be on antique Japanese kimonos, such as these shown above and below, posted recently on their site:
They have a wide variety of one-of-a-kind pieces, some of which seem to us to be museum quality. However, they carefully explain quality issues for each piece and have an excellent description of their holdings at the top of their kimono gallery section of their website, quoted below:
Within this kimono gallery we have arranged about a thousand select vintage and antique kimonos into four general price categories. During the Edo, Meiji and Taisho eras in Japan, there was no arbitrary division of art into fine arts and decorative arts, as is prevalent in Western art. Eminent artists were commissioned to design textiles and each work was an original creation. Although Japanese textile artists borrowed freely from Western art ideas during the first half of the 20th century, it is notable that during the late 19th and early 20th centuries Japanese art and general aesthetics had an immense impact on the West, inspiring the rise of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Minimalism. Many of the kimonos in this gallery were created during the early 20th century: a special time in Japan when a rapid growth of wealth and confidence - in combination with one of the world's great textile traditions - resulted in garments that can be considered important art. We have selected for the gallery what we feel are the best kimonos in terms of superior artistry, rarity and condition. The Japanese rightly considered kimonos to be works of art, often using them to hang over screens and decorate their rooms. Collectors and wearers worldwide agree.
Kimono condition note: We endeavour to purchase kimonos that are superior both in terms of aesthetics as well as condition, however, the fact is that the vast majority of extant vintage and antique kimonos have small imperfections due to age and use. Such slight imperfections that exist within many of the rare and unique garment art-pieces show-cased in this gallery are considered understandable and acceptable to most. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
We can tell from both the exquisite photography and their product description texts that they are highly knowledgeable with a deep appreciation for traditional Japanese aesthetics. Perhaps we like their site and blog so much because our tastes and likes in traditional Japanese textiles seem very much the same as theirs. We marvel that they've been able to acquire so many extraordinary and unique kimonos of this caliber given that as the years roll by we ourselves see that such gems are becoming harder and harder to find.
They have four-tier pricing: starting below US$500 and up to over US$5000. Unlike many vintage/antique kimono sellers, they offer a customer satisfaction return policy, with the customer only being responsible for shipping costs (see their site for their policy in detail).
In addition to their pictures of their own kimonos, they also regularly post other fine pictures on their tumblr.com page -- both of kimonos and other traditional Japanese art, link HERE.
Lastly, we should note that as we write this site review today the owners do not know we're blogging about them, but you can tell them we sent you if you happen to do business with them. We just believe strongly in supporting others who are helping share the beauty of traditional textile arts and kimonos with the world and we simply enjoy seeing the pictures they post and are confident our site visitors will as well.