Lineage of Yamada Jokasai, signed Jokasai 常嘉齋
Japan, 19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)
Of upright rectangular form and oval section, bearing a bright gold nashiji ground, finely worked in gold and silver takamaki-e and hiramaki-e, with some inlays, depicting two large roundels to either side. The larger roundel to the front with a silver-lacquered falcon gripping the neck of a heron surrounded by leaves inlaid with tsuishu (carved red lacquer), shibuichi, bright turquoise enamels, and mitsuda (pewter), some with gold hiramaki-e veins, all set on a fine gyobu-nashiji ground. The smaller roundel to the reverse decorated with rich gold takamaki-e peony blossoms and butterflies with mother-of-pearl inlaid wings, and a large white ceramic-inlaid peony blossom set on a cloudy nashiji ground. The interior lacquered in silver. Signed underneath in gold lacquer JOKASAI.
HEIGHT 8.5 cm, LENGTH 6.7 cm
Condition: Good condition with minor wear, typical losses to the gyobu-nashiji, minor discoloration to the lacquer ground, a minor dent to the upper case, a small crack to the second case, and typical rubbing to the inner silver lacquer. Overall presenting very well.
Provenance: From an old French private collection, with an old label to the interior of the top case.
The Yamada Jokasai lineage lasted until the end of the Edo period. The first Yamada Jokasai lived in Tokyo in the late 17th century and worked for the shogunate, originally at the Kajikawa school. He crafted inro and kobako alongside the famous Koami Choho, later breaking off to establish his own school in Tokyo.
Falconry (takagari) was introduced to Japan from China in the 4th century. Hunting with hawks and falcons is mentioned in the Kojiki (712). In the Heian period (794-1185), the sport of falconry was practiced by emperors and their courtiers. By the Kamakura period (1185-1333), samurai clans had established various schools, methods and traditions of hunting with falcons and hawks. By the Edo period (1615-1868), falconry was officially patronized by the shogunate and the position of master of falconry was established in the shogunate bureaucracy.
Compare a related inro with similar inlays, signed Jokasai, illustrated in Moss, Sydney L. (2014) Lac Lacquer Lacquest, p. 128-129, no. 34.
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