2nd Dec, 2022 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
  Lot 48
 

48

AN IMPORTANT IMPERIAL SILVER ‘TANG MIRROR’ BONBONNIERE WITH GOLD KIKUMON

Sold for €2,080

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

Japan, 1915, early Taisho period (1912-1926)

The bonbonnière silver box in the shape of an eight lobed tang mirror, rising from an openworked foot, the lid centered by a gold kikumon flanked by two majestic ho-o birds (phoenixes) worked in masterful high relief and standing on swirling clouds and issuing bands. With a seal mark Gyokuya kinzo (respectfully made for the Imperial house).

This bonbonnière was specifically made for the 1915 Tokyo Banquet, after the enthronement of Emperor Taisho. The eight-lobed mirror form with facing phoenixes, connotes an ancient tie to nobility. This harks back to the Tang dynasty (618–907) of China, which was a formative influence on the Japanese nation.

LENGTH 6.4 cm
WEIGHT 115.4 g

Condition: Very good condition, minor surface wear.
Provenance: From the Collection of Gustaf Wallenberg, thence by descent in the same family. Gustaf Wallenberg (1863-1939) was a Swedish businessman, diplomat, and active politician. His father André Oscar Wallenberg was the founder of Stockholm Enskilda Bank (today SEB, and grandfather of Raoul Wallenberg). After a career in the Swedish Navy, he turned to the business world and was active in improving the transoceanic shipping industry, which came in handy in 1908 when he successfully negotiated with the Qing court in Beijing about a friendship, trade, and navigation treaty. The collection was acquired between 1906 and 1918 when Wallenberg was the Swedish Envoyé in Tokyo. From 1907 Wallenberg was accredited for Beijing and came to spend time in both countries as the Swedish Ambassador. Wallenberg lived in China during a tumultuous period, when a lot of precious items entered the market and the golden era of collecting Chinese works of art started in Europe.

For further information on Japanese imperial silver bonbonnières see Arts of Asia Journal, Susan Tosk and David Cole, Japanese Imperial Silver Bonboninières: Elegance in the Palm of Your Hand – The Nancy and Robin Markbreiter Collection, spring 2022, no. 9. Another bonbonniere from the same series as the present lot is illustrated in fig. 9.
The full article can be read here: https://artsofasia.com/2022/02/24/japanese-imperial-silver-bonbonnieres-elegance-in-the-palm-of-your-hand-the-nancy-and-robin-markbreiter-collection/


Auction comparison:
Compare to a closely related imperial silver bonbonnière sold at Hindman, Japanese and Korean Works of Art, 25 March 2022, Chicago, lot 13 (sold for 2,813 USD).

 

Japan, 1915, early Taisho period (1912-1926)

The bonbonnière silver box in the shape of an eight lobed tang mirror, rising from an openworked foot, the lid centered by a gold kikumon flanked by two majestic ho-o birds (phoenixes) worked in masterful high relief and standing on swirling clouds and issuing bands. With a seal mark Gyokuya kinzo (respectfully made for the Imperial house).

This bonbonnière was specifically made for the 1915 Tokyo Banquet, after the enthronement of Emperor Taisho. The eight-lobed mirror form with facing phoenixes, connotes an ancient tie to nobility. This harks back to the Tang dynasty (618–907) of China, which was a formative influence on the Japanese nation.

LENGTH 6.4 cm
WEIGHT 115.4 g

Condition: Very good condition, minor surface wear.
Provenance: From the Collection of Gustaf Wallenberg, thence by descent in the same family. Gustaf Wallenberg (1863-1939) was a Swedish businessman, diplomat, and active politician. His father André Oscar Wallenberg was the founder of Stockholm Enskilda Bank (today SEB, and grandfather of Raoul Wallenberg). After a career in the Swedish Navy, he turned to the business world and was active in improving the transoceanic shipping industry, which came in handy in 1908 when he successfully negotiated with the Qing court in Beijing about a friendship, trade, and navigation treaty. The collection was acquired between 1906 and 1918 when Wallenberg was the Swedish Envoyé in Tokyo. From 1907 Wallenberg was accredited for Beijing and came to spend time in both countries as the Swedish Ambassador. Wallenberg lived in China during a tumultuous period, when a lot of precious items entered the market and the golden era of collecting Chinese works of art started in Europe.

For further information on Japanese imperial silver bonbonnières see Arts of Asia Journal, Susan Tosk and David Cole, Japanese Imperial Silver Bonboninières: Elegance in the Palm of Your Hand – The Nancy and Robin Markbreiter Collection, spring 2022, no. 9. Another bonbonniere from the same series as the present lot is illustrated in fig. 9.
The full article can be read here: https://artsofasia.com/2022/02/24/japanese-imperial-silver-bonbonnieres-elegance-in-the-palm-of-your-hand-the-nancy-and-robin-markbreiter-collection/


Auction comparison:
Compare to a closely related imperial silver bonbonnière sold at Hindman, Japanese and Korean Works of Art, 25 March 2022, Chicago, lot 13 (sold for 2,813 USD).

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