• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11930

    AN INQUIRING MIND: AMERICAN COLLECTING OF JAPANESE AND KOREAN ART

    15 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 75

    A soft-metal-inlaid shibuichi model of a dancer

    MEIJ - TAISHO PERIOD (EARLY 20TH CENTURY), SIGNED MORITSUGU (TAKAGAWA MORITSUGU) AND SEALED SEN IN GILT INLAY

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    A soft-metal-inlaid shibuichi model of a dancer
    Meij - Taisho period (early 20th century), signed Moritsugu (Takagawa Moritsugu) and sealed sen in gilt inlay
    Finely cast and chiseled as a gagaku dancer, wearing a mask of Ranryo-o with a dragon head-ornament on tip and holding a gold stick in the right hand, the details elaborately inlaid in gold, silver, copper and shakudo, the robes of the dancer embellished with various motifs including roundels of a coiled dragon and stylized clouds, the dynamic movement indicated by the flowing long robe and tassels; the signature underside of robe
    11 in. (27.9 cm.) high
    With original wood box titled oborogin sei junkin zogan iri Ranryo-o okimono ikko (A pure gold inlaid Oborogin figure of Ranryo-o), signed Takagawa Moritsugu saku (Carved by Takagawa Moritsugu) and Ikoma sei (made by Ikoma company)


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    Ranryo-o is one of the gagaku parformances based on the story of a handsome Chinese Prince Lan Ling Wang from Northern Qi Dynasty.

    Although little is known about the artist Takagawa Moritsugu, this work shows the skillful techniques of the artist using various type of colorful soft metals.

    For a similar work by Unno Shomin exhibited in the Third National Industrial Exposition which won the first prize and now in the collection of Sannomaru Shozokan, see Kogei no seiki - Meiji no okimono kara gendai no art made (KOGEI - a View of a Century of Modern Japanese Crafts) (Tokyo: The Asahi Shinbun Company, 2003), pl. 35.