Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910) started his career as a potter, but was to become one of the greatest of Meiji era cloisonné makers. Together with Namikawa Yasuyuki (whose name is written with different characters) he was appointed as a Teishitsu Gigeiin (Imperial Artist) in 1896. Sosuke is held to be the innovator of 'wireless cloisonné' in around 1879, in which the usual wires are either absent or invisible. He was able to merge different colours and shades together giving the impression of brush painting, although he also often used some wire to enhance the composition. In 1880 he opened a Tokyo branch of the Nagoya Shippo Gaisha [Nagoya Cloisonné Company] to continue the tradition of Owari Province cloisonné there. Although Sosuke often depicted illustrations by well-known painters like Ogata Korin (1658-1716) and Watanabe Seitei (1851-1918) (see Lot 110), he was a great artist in his own right. He is perhaps best known for the thirty two cloisonné plaques for the audience room of the Geihinkan (formerly the Akasaka Detached Palace) that he completed shortly before his death after ten years work. The largest and most comprehensive group of more than fifty masterpieces by Sosuke is to be found in the Khalili Collection.