A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER
A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER
A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER
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A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER

MEIJI PERIOD (LATE 19TH CENTURY), SIGNED AND DATED MORITOSHI JISHIKI (UNNO MORITOSHI; 1834-1896) KINOE-SARU INUZUKI (OCTOBER 1884)

Details
A SOFT-METAL-INLAID BOX AND COVER
MEIJI PERIOD (LATE 19TH CENTURY), SIGNED AND DATED MORITOSHI JISHIKI (UNNO MORITOSHI; 1834-1896) KINOE-SARU INUZUKI (OCTOBER 1884)
The square silver box with slightly domed lid, the top elaborately inlaid in gold, silver, shakudo and shibuichi with Fudo Myoo (Acala "The Immovable One") and young priest Yuten, encircled by a boarder inlaid is gold, silver with lotus flowers, the sides elaborately worked in various motifs inlaid in gold, silver, copper, shakudo and shibuichi, the inner box with brocade design in gold, copper and shakudo hirazogan, the underside of the lid designed with a Buddhist vajra and sutra opened, the gold cartouche is inscribed Shaku Yuten (The Priest Yuten)
4 x 4 1/16 x 1 3/16 in. (10.2 x 10.3 x 3 cm.)
Provenance
Grace Tsumugi Fine Art Ltd., London

Brought to you by

Takaaki Murakami(村上高明)
Takaaki Murakami(村上高明) Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department | Korean Art

Lot Essay

The protagonist depicted here, Yuten (1637-1718), is the thirty-sixth abbot of Zojo-ji, the main Jodo-shu (Pure Land) Buddhist temple in the Kanto region, located at Tokyo.
The cover of this beautiful box illustrates the famous story of the young Yuten’s moment of awakening. As an unintelligent disciple, he was expelled from the temple by failing to recite sutras. While praying for Fudo Myoo to offer him wisdom, he dreamed of the wrathful deity stabbing a kurikara sword through his throat; upon waking, he was enlightened and empowered. Yuten succeeded to be an outstanding priest prized by the Tokugawa clan.
As a pupil of Unno Yoshimori I (1785-1862), Moritoshi accomplished to be a metal sword fittings expert under the Mito School, modern-day Ibaraki prefecture where he studied metalwork before moving to Edo after the Meiji restoration. Moritoshi’s son Unno Yoshimori II (1864-1919) is also a successful metalwork artist who taught at Tokyo School of Fine Art and was appointed Teishitsu Gigei-In (Imperial Household Artist) in 1892.

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