AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE
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AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE
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AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE

EDO PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED MYOCHIN KI MUNEAKI KORE SAKU (MADE BY MYOCHIN MUNEAKI)

Details
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF AN EAGLE
EDO PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED MYOCHIN KI MUNEAKI KORE SAKU (MADE BY MYOCHIN MUNEAKI)
The iron eagle perched on rock stand, constructed of numerous hammered plates jointed inside the body, the beak opens, the neck, wings and claws move, the eyes embellished with gilt, the details of feathers finely chiseled, the incised signature on underside of tail feather
31 ½ in. (80 cm.) wide
13 3/8 in. (34 cm.) high without stand; 24 3/8 in. (61.9 cm.) high with stand
Provenance
Acquired from José Antonio Torres, Barcelona circa 1971

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

Ingenious movable sculptures of animals are the invention of Japanese metalsmiths trained in the manufacture of samurai armor. The Myochin family of armorers is credited with the first sculptures of this type in the eighteenth century. In relative peacetime, the demand for arms and armor, except for display purposes, had slowed. To meet the changes in demand, the Myochin expanded their repertoire into metalwork of a decorative and symbolic nature. Some see these articulated models as the culmination of the armorer’s skill and imagination. Known as jizai okimono, literally “free display objects”, these intricate sculptures are a unique genre of Japanese sculptural art.
The restoration of the Japanese emperor in 1868 and the dismantling of the samurai domains further impacted the tradition of metalwork in place by the fifteenth century. Rapid industrialization and Japan’s decision to compete economically on a world scale encouraged new artists and ateliers who had not trained in the Myochin school. There are several Myochin family artists with the name Muneaki. The style of the work and signature suggest this work maybe the work by Myochin Muneaki from late Edo period who was descendant of Myochin Family retained for the Sakai Family of Himeji Province.

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