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A LACQUER TWO-CASE INRO
A LACQUER TWO-CASE INRO
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
A LACQUER TWO-CASE INRO

EDO-MEIJI PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED ZESHIN (SHIBATA ZESHIN; 1807-1891)

Details
A LACQUER TWO-CASE INRO
EDO-MEIJI PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED ZESHIN (SHIBATA ZESHIN; 1807-1891)
The rectangular form, designed to simulate a chipped and cracked ink cake, each side with a sunken panel, one side with musical instruments and an inscription in archaic Chinese characters, the reverse with a Chinese ceremonial vessel known as a tan ting, both sides with a incised crackled ground
3 in. (7.6 cm.) high
Provenance
Kelsch Collection

Brought to you by

Takaaki Murakami
Takaaki Murakami Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department

Lot Essay

Zeshin became a prolific painter of popular subjects and was hugely popular with the Edo townsfolk in Edo period Japan. His light-hearted and vivid depictions of everyday Japan, its custom, and legends were among the earliest art to find favor in the West after the Imperial Restoration. But it is as a lacquer artist that Zeshin is perhaps best known, and for which his art was acclaimed at the great expositions both in Japan and overseas in his last decades. His diverse work encompassed the Shijo and Rinpa schools, and the Chinese-inspired work of Ogawa Haritsu (1663-1747). He introduced the technique of painting on paper with lacquer to give an impression of richness and three-dimensionality.
The lacquer surface of this work has been deliberately made to simulate an old, chipped inkcake. The Chinese inscription is taken from the 6th volume of the Fang shi mopu (The Fang Family Compendium of Ink Cakes) from 16th century. For a similar lacquer inro by Haritsu in the colelction of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, go to: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/58914

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