A brown lacquer three-case inro By Koma Kyuhaku, 19th century
Lot 180
A brown lacquer three-case inro
By Koma Kyuhaku, 19th century
Sold for £20,000 (US$ 33,616) inc. premium
Lot Details
A brown lacquer three-case inro
By Koma Kyuhaku, 19th century
Of wide form, bearing a rich tan ground and lacquered with a jakoneko (Asian musk-cat, civet or binturong) rolling on its back and playing with a peacock feather, two further feathers on the reverse, in gold, silver and brown takamakie with inlaid aogai details and the interior of roiro with elaborate designs of feathers inlaid in chinkinbori, signed Koma Kyuhaku saku. 8.2cm (3¼in) wide.

Footnotes

  • 麝香猫図蒔絵印籠 銘「古満休伯作」 19世紀

    Provenance: Mark Fletcher collection, no.904.
    Sir Trevor Lawrence collection.
    Wrangham collection, no.1757.

    Variously translated as 'civet', 'musk cat' or weasel, the jakoneko made its first appearance in Japanese art around the 15th century and is featured in a famous screen by Kano Utanosuke in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (inv. no. 11.6781). The first actual jakoneko may have been imported into the country as early as 1226 when the great poet Fujiwara Teika saw one and noted that it 'looked like a cat'. One was brought by a Chinese ship and purchased by the shogunal physician Taki Motonori in 1794 but died three years later, while two more were imported from English ships in 1813 and 1814. See Isono Naohide, Meijizen dobutsu torai nenpyo (Exotic Animals Brought in Japan: A Chronology to 1868), Hiyoshi Review of Natural Science, Keio University no.41, 35-66 (2007), pp.38, 51 and 52.

    An inro with a similar design, by Yutokusai Tachibana Hogyoku, was exhibited in The Peacock's Feather: Gentlemen's Jewelry of Old Japan, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida, 2007, illustrated in the Catalogue, p.104, no.86.
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    Auction Administration - Japanese Art
    Bonhams
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