• Japanese and Korean Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2552

    Japanese and Korean Art

    21 March 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 946

    A monumental bronze incense burner


    Price Realised  


    A monumental bronze incense burner
    Meiji period (late 19th century), signed Masayoshi chu (Cast by [Suzuki] Masayoshi)
    Cast in sections and designed on the cover with a large hawk and snake among rocks, the body decorated with panels of cranes beneath a pine tree and Mount Fuji on the back, and on the opposite side with a man dancing with two fans beneath a blossoming cherry tree, the body set on a columnar section held by five standing lions, all supported by a tripod stand on a base designed with clouds and beast-masks, coiling dragon to the center of the base, signed on tripod stand; wood stand
    77in. (185.5cm.) high

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    In the Meiji period (1867-1912), Japan entered into industrial competition with the Western nations and applied traditional technology to works of art for export. Pieces such as this incense burner were made for exhibition in Europe and America, where they won great acclaim. Bronze-casters from all over Japan, and especially Tokyo (the new capital) and the provincial centers of Kanazawa and Takaoka, responded magnificently to the challenge, adapting the existing traditions of bronze manufacture for temple fittings and flower containers to produce an impressive range of outsize exhibition pieces that combine exaggerated features borrowed from early Chinese work with a wealth of exotic decoration.

    A similar work by the artist sold Christie's, London, 13 November, 2002, lot 119