4th Nov, 2022 13:00

Fine Netsuke & Sagemono

 
  Lot 125
 

125

MORIKAWA TOEN: A RARE BAMBOO SASHI NETSUKE OF A GUARDIAN LION

Sold for €4,160

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

By Morikawa Toen (1820-1894), signed Morikawa Toen森川 杜園 and kakihan
Japan, Nara, second half of 19th century

Published:
Lazarnick, George (1976) The Signature Book of Netsuke, p. 384
Lazarnick, George (1981) Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures, vol. II, p. 1096
J. Hawley, article on Gyokkin in the INSJ, 25/2 (2005), illustrated on p. 20, no. 20
Atchley, Virginia / Davey, Neil (2006) The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, p. 88, no. N106.

Exhibited: International Netsuke Collectors’ Society Convention, Honolulu, 1977

Finely carved from a section of bamboo (metake) as a Buddhist Lion raised on a double lotus pedestal, the base with neatly carved flowerheads, the guardian seated on its haunches in a distinctly powerful posture, a large ring handle in its mouth. The design is faithfully copied from an incense burner in the Shoso-in repository in Nara. The natural surface of the material is heightened with clever polishing and staining to replicate the bronze surface. The neatly polished reverse with two himotoshi and the inscription Shosoin hoko heigoro no shishi baku [Copy of handled incense burner of shishi in the Shosoin treasure house] and signed MORIKAWA TOEN with kakihan.

HEIGHT 10.4 cm

Condition: Excellent condition.
Provenance: Ex-collection Virginia Atchley, CA.

Morikawa Toen’s netsuke are rare. Along with his contemporary Kano Tessai (1845-1925), Morikawa Toen (1820-1894) was one of the few artists allowed inside the Shoso-in repository to produce artworks decreed by the Imperial household.

Morikawa Toen was known for his Nara ningyo (dolls) sculptures and as a noh actor. His work was admired by the Daimyo of Tosa, the magistrate of Nara, who awarded him with names from Japanese mythology. The Imperial household also became his patrons. He received many prizes throughout his career and was later commissioned by the newly founded Tokyo Imperial Museum to make copies of ancient works of art

The Shoso-in is the treasure house of the Toda-ji temple in Nara, Japan. From the very beginning, the Shoso-in has been sealed by the Imperial family. One was permitted to enter only with explicit permission from the Imperial family. Ninety-five percent of the fine arts and crafts in the Shoso-in were produced in Japan around the 8th century, with the remainder imported from the Tang Dynasty, Central Asia, India, Iran, etc. during the same period. Although these collections are not open to the public, selections are shown at Nara National Museum once a year in autumn.

 

By Morikawa Toen (1820-1894), signed Morikawa Toen森川 杜園 and kakihan
Japan, Nara, second half of 19th century

Published:
Lazarnick, George (1976) The Signature Book of Netsuke, p. 384
Lazarnick, George (1981) Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures, vol. II, p. 1096
J. Hawley, article on Gyokkin in the INSJ, 25/2 (2005), illustrated on p. 20, no. 20
Atchley, Virginia / Davey, Neil (2006) The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, p. 88, no. N106.

Exhibited: International Netsuke Collectors’ Society Convention, Honolulu, 1977

Finely carved from a section of bamboo (metake) as a Buddhist Lion raised on a double lotus pedestal, the base with neatly carved flowerheads, the guardian seated on its haunches in a distinctly powerful posture, a large ring handle in its mouth. The design is faithfully copied from an incense burner in the Shoso-in repository in Nara. The natural surface of the material is heightened with clever polishing and staining to replicate the bronze surface. The neatly polished reverse with two himotoshi and the inscription Shosoin hoko heigoro no shishi baku [Copy of handled incense burner of shishi in the Shosoin treasure house] and signed MORIKAWA TOEN with kakihan.

HEIGHT 10.4 cm

Condition: Excellent condition.
Provenance: Ex-collection Virginia Atchley, CA.

Morikawa Toen’s netsuke are rare. Along with his contemporary Kano Tessai (1845-1925), Morikawa Toen (1820-1894) was one of the few artists allowed inside the Shoso-in repository to produce artworks decreed by the Imperial household.

Morikawa Toen was known for his Nara ningyo (dolls) sculptures and as a noh actor. His work was admired by the Daimyo of Tosa, the magistrate of Nara, who awarded him with names from Japanese mythology. The Imperial household also became his patrons. He received many prizes throughout his career and was later commissioned by the newly founded Tokyo Imperial Museum to make copies of ancient works of art

The Shoso-in is the treasure house of the Toda-ji temple in Nara, Japan. From the very beginning, the Shoso-in has been sealed by the Imperial family. One was permitted to enter only with explicit permission from the Imperial family. Ninety-five percent of the fine arts and crafts in the Shoso-in were produced in Japan around the 8th century, with the remainder imported from the Tang Dynasty, Central Asia, India, Iran, etc. during the same period. Although these collections are not open to the public, selections are shown at Nara National Museum once a year in autumn.

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