The Kodansu (miniature cabinet) of rectilinear form made from shakudo with gilt edges. The front shows two confronting roosters, gilt feathers flying around, finely inlaid in gold, silver and copper. The remaining four sides show various inlaid images in iro-e takazogan and hon-zogan inside fan-shaped reserves. These include: the thunder god Raijin, puppies next to a stupa, the lucky deity Hotei with karako, a man and woman drinking sake, butterflies and flowers, a stork, sparrows amidst tumbling waves, a squid with clams and a basket of fruit. When opening the Kodansu with the gilt floral handle in the front, the inside reveals three wood drawers decorated in gold takamaki-e to the fronts with Buddhist treasures. The top with a gilt metal handle, the whole resting on bracket feet.
SIZE 13.9 cm x 10.9 cm x 17.5cm
Condition: Very good and original condition. Minor expected surface wear, and some rubbing to gilding and silvered copper throughout. The lowest drawer with a large crack through the underside.
Provenance: British private estate.
Kondansu, which are usually made from lacquered wood, are extremely rare to find in metal.
Auction comparison: For a Kodansu made from Shibuichi see Sotheby’s. Fine Japanese Art, London, 6 November 2018, lot 144.