By Ota Harukage, signed Taiyosai Harukage with kakihan
Japan, Tokyo, first half of 20th century
Masterfully cast as three playing puppies in the style of Maruyama Okyo, worked in high relief, each patinated differently and with gilt eyes. The puppies are extremely lifelike, almost appearing as if they were jumping out of the picture. Note the finely incised bamboo and grasses. Signed to the lower right OTA HARUKAGE with the artist's kakihan. Framed within a black-lacquered wood frame.
SIZE (with frame) 39.6 x 33.6 cm, SIZE (picture only) 35.5 x 29.5 cm
WEIGHT (with frame) 1,036 g
Condition: Superb condition with hardly any wear.
Provenance: British private collection.
Ota Harukage, a pupil of Funakoshi Shunmin (1868–1940), is recorded as being active in Tokyo during the Taisho and Showa eras. For further information, see Wakayama Takeshi, Kinko jiten (A Dictionary of Metalworkers), Tokyo, Token Shunju Shinbunsha, 1999, p. 620.
Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795) became famous for his paintings of puppies. His puppies have inspired Japanese artists throughout the centuries, appearing in homages on various mediums such as paintings, lacquerware, or metalwork, as in the present example.
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