2nd Dec, 2022 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
  Lot 68
 

68

TAMAGAWA MITSUKIYO FOR THE KAKUHA COMPANY: A SUPERB SILVER AND GOLD-INLAID BRONZE USUBATA VASE

Sold for €9,750

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

By Tamagawa Mitsukiyo for the Kakuha company, signed Dai-Nihon Etchu-koku, Kakuha sei, Mitsukiyo
Japan, c. 1880, Meiji period (1868-1912)

The ovoid body flanked by two openworked handles depicting ho-o birds at flight amid scrolling clouds and decorated in gold, silver, copper, and shakudo takazogan within shaped panels depicting to one side a samurai carrying a noble lady on his shoulder amid pine and bamboo with finely incised crashing waves in the background, and to the other the hero Saginoike Heikuro fighting a giant python with neatly incised scales atop a craggy rock amid crashing waves and a waterfall. The separately cast trumpet mouth with a galleried rim inlaid in silver wire with a geometric and a foliate band, the base of the mouth with silver-inlaid leafy floral blossoms, the interior with katakiri and kebori as well as gold and copper takazogan to depict a ho-o bird beside a leafy branch and a kirin amid swirling clouds, the exterior similarly decorated with birds and butterflies amid leafy branches and peony.

The separately cast, elaborately openworked, tiered stand is intricately decorated with gold and silver inlay, both flat and in high relief, as well as katakiri and kebori, depicting beast masks, birds in flight, blooming chrysanthemums, leafy bamboo, and implements for the shell-matching game (kai-awase), and further with geometric and foliate designs.

HEIGHT 59 cm
WEIGHT 13.9 kg

Condition: Excellent condition with minor wear.
Provenance: British collection.

Kakuha Kanzaemon I, real name Kakuha Zenjiro, was a member of a lineage of metalworkers from Toyama. In 1869, he started a branch office in the port of Yokohama for the export trade of bronze ware and also acted as a retailer for foreign clients in Japan.

Based on Chinese bronze forms but with exaggeratedly wide rims, usubata were first cast in Japan in the seventeenth century for formal flower arrangements; then, during the early Meiji era, elaborate multi-part usubata became one of the favored forms of bronze destined for international exhibitions and the global export market.

Museum comparison:
The artist Tamagawa Mitsukiyo appears to be rare, his output focused on producing exceptionally fine usubata. A single usubata is preserved in the Takaoka City Museum of Art and a pair of Usubata are located in the Portland Museum of Art, accession no. 2000.64A,B.

Auction comparison:
Compare a pair of related usubata vases by Tamagawa Mitsukiyo, dated Meiji period, circa 1880, each 48 cm high, at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, 7 November 2019, lot 219 (bought-in at an estimate of 25,000-30,000 GBP).

 

By Tamagawa Mitsukiyo for the Kakuha company, signed Dai-Nihon Etchu-koku, Kakuha sei, Mitsukiyo
Japan, c. 1880, Meiji period (1868-1912)

The ovoid body flanked by two openworked handles depicting ho-o birds at flight amid scrolling clouds and decorated in gold, silver, copper, and shakudo takazogan within shaped panels depicting to one side a samurai carrying a noble lady on his shoulder amid pine and bamboo with finely incised crashing waves in the background, and to the other the hero Saginoike Heikuro fighting a giant python with neatly incised scales atop a craggy rock amid crashing waves and a waterfall. The separately cast trumpet mouth with a galleried rim inlaid in silver wire with a geometric and a foliate band, the base of the mouth with silver-inlaid leafy floral blossoms, the interior with katakiri and kebori as well as gold and copper takazogan to depict a ho-o bird beside a leafy branch and a kirin amid swirling clouds, the exterior similarly decorated with birds and butterflies amid leafy branches and peony.

The separately cast, elaborately openworked, tiered stand is intricately decorated with gold and silver inlay, both flat and in high relief, as well as katakiri and kebori, depicting beast masks, birds in flight, blooming chrysanthemums, leafy bamboo, and implements for the shell-matching game (kai-awase), and further with geometric and foliate designs.

HEIGHT 59 cm
WEIGHT 13.9 kg

Condition: Excellent condition with minor wear.
Provenance: British collection.

Kakuha Kanzaemon I, real name Kakuha Zenjiro, was a member of a lineage of metalworkers from Toyama. In 1869, he started a branch office in the port of Yokohama for the export trade of bronze ware and also acted as a retailer for foreign clients in Japan.

Based on Chinese bronze forms but with exaggeratedly wide rims, usubata were first cast in Japan in the seventeenth century for formal flower arrangements; then, during the early Meiji era, elaborate multi-part usubata became one of the favored forms of bronze destined for international exhibitions and the global export market.

Museum comparison:
The artist Tamagawa Mitsukiyo appears to be rare, his output focused on producing exceptionally fine usubata. A single usubata is preserved in the Takaoka City Museum of Art and a pair of Usubata are located in the Portland Museum of Art, accession no. 2000.64A,B.

Auction comparison:
Compare a pair of related usubata vases by Tamagawa Mitsukiyo, dated Meiji period, circa 1880, each 48 cm high, at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, 7 November 2019, lot 219 (bought-in at an estimate of 25,000-30,000 GBP).

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