A lacquered-metal tsuba formed from a mirror By Ogawa Haritsu (Ritsuo, 1663-1747), early 18th century
Lot 421
A lacquered-metal tsuba formed from a mirror
By Ogawa Haritsu (Ritsuo, 1663-1747), early 18th century
£3,000 - 4,000
US$ 5,100 - 6,800
withdrawn
Auction Details
A lacquered-metal tsuba formed from a mirror By Ogawa Haritsu (Ritsuo, 1663-1747), early 18th century A lacquered-metal tsuba formed from a mirror By Ogawa Haritsu (Ritsuo, 1663-1747), early 18th century
Lot Details
Property from a private collection
A lacquered-metal tsuba formed from a mirror
By Ogawa Haritsu (Ritsuo, 1663-1747), early 18th century
Of circular form with raised rim, cast with a design of a dragon writhing its entire body around the nakago-ana of the sword guard, derived from a Chinese ink-cake, the reverse with a panel bearing an engraved two-line inscription, signed with the seal Kan. 8.9cm (3½in).

Footnotes

  • 古墨龍図江南貢院対句入漆塗鍔 龍 銘「觀(方印)」 18世紀前期

    Provenance: Edward Wrangham collection.

    The two-line Chinese characters inscription transcribes:

    (十載辛勤)變化魚龍地
    (一生期許)飛翔鸞鳳天

    (After ten decades of hard work), the fish turns into a dragon.
    (After striving for a whole life), the phoenix is able to fly in the sky.

    This is a truncated version of the whole text - as indicated within the brackets above - written on the two outer pillars of the imposing entrance of the Jiangnan Gongyuan (Jiangnan Examination Institute) in the city of Nanjing. First founded in 1168, it represents China's best preserved historical site for Keju - an ancient and rigorous examination held by the Imperial Court to uncover talent to fulfill governmental roles. Haritsu has not only deliberately omitted some of the text but his choice of Chinese motifs for the tsuba most certainly represented his own intellectual and aesthetic interests as well as his reverence for Chinese culture, learning and philosophy.

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