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A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS
A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS
A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS
A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS
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ANOTHER PROPERTY
A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS

MEIJI-TAISHO PERIOD (LATE 19TH-EARLY 20TH CENTURY), SIGNED KATSUHIRO (KAGAWA KATSUHIRO; 1853-1917)

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A SCULPTURE OF A PAIR OF QUAILS
MEIJI-TAISHO PERIOD (LATE 19TH-EARLY 20TH CENTURY), SIGNED KATSUHIRO (KAGAWA KATSUHIRO; 1853-1917)
The metal sculpture in the suhama (sandy beach) shape, a pair of quails setting on rokusho-nuri ground slope by a gilt silver stream with copper and gold-inlaid maple leaves, a brass ginko leaf and shibuichi and copper patinated timber piles, the quails in shibuichi body, feather decorated with copper and shakudo inlays and silver gilt, eyes patinated in silver, gilt beaks and feet, base set on bracket feet wood stand; signature on a silver round plaque mounted to reverse
8 3/8 x 17 ¾ in. (21.3 x 45.1 cm.)
With a wood storage box

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Lot Essay

Quails appeared in Japanese literatures as early as in Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousands Leaves) from 8th century. The animal was then extensively mentioned in waka and haiku, and was often used as a reference to demonstrate the lonesome of autumn, as presented in this sculpture by Kagawa Katsuhiro. Quail's chirping sound was believed to pun to the word gokiccho (sign of good luck), and this sound made quails popular among samurai class since Muromachi Period. They were sometimes brought to battlefields as a way to boost morale.
An Edo (later Tokyo) native, Katsuhiro apprenticed as a boy to a carver of Noh masks before studying drawing under Shibata Zeshin and metalworking under Nomura Katsumori and the eminent Kano Natsuo. A frequent participant in national and international exhibitions, he was appointed a professor at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1903. Like his mentor Natsuo, Katsuhiro joined the elite membership of Teishitsu Gigein (Artists to the Imperial Household) in 1906, insuring him important commissions, exposure and recognition.

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