A fine single-case lacquer inro By Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
Lot 316*
A fine single-case lacquer inro By Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
Sold for £265,250 (US$ 445,837) inc. premium
Lot Details
A fine single-case lacquer inro
By Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
Of rectangular form, bearing a dark olive-green textured ground, lacquered with ripe chestnuts (kuri) splitting out of their husks, the design continuing on the reverse, where a single chestnut falls beneath a branch of Japanese nutmeg (kaya), in gold, silver and coloured takamakie, the interior of roiro, signed Zeshin; with lacquer hako-netsuke bearing a brown ground and lacquered in gold and shibuichi takamakie with a seated hare among wild flowers, signed Zeshin.
7.9cm (3 1/8in).


  • 栗に榧図蒔絵印籠 銘「是真」 明治時代

    Provenance: Charles A. Greenfield collection, acquired in Japan in 1947.

    Published: H. P. Stern, The Magnificent Three, Lacquer, Netsuke and Tsuba, Japan Society, New York, 1972, no.161.
    H. P. Stern, Birds, Beasts, Blossoms and Bugs, New York, 1976, no.122.
    A. J. Pekarik, Japanese Lacquer, 1600-1900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1980, no.76, illus. figs.94/95 and colour plates 27/28.
    The Charles A.Greenfield Collection of Japanese Lacquer, Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1973, p.154, no.76.

    Exhibited: Japanese House Gallery, New York, 1972.
    The Frederick Wright Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976.
    Asia House Gallery, New York, 1977.
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1980.

    The design of chestnuts splitting from their husks was favoured by Shibata Zeshin, who used it in several works. Compare, for example, a lacquer painting from the Mr and Mrs James O'Brien collection at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, illustrated in The Art of Shibata Zeshin, 1979, p.139, no.66. See also an album leaf painting illustrated in the Exhibition Catalogue, Edo Chic, Meiji Technique, The Art of Shibata Zeshin, featuring the Edson collection, Tokyo, Kyoto and Toyama, 2009-2010, p.71, no.28; also illustrated in Zeshin, The Catherine and Thomas Edson Collection, San Antonio Museum of Art, 2007, p.140, fig 44-29.
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