A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period

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Lot 96*
A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke
Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
Sold for £ 50,000 (US$ 66,244) inc. premium

Lot Details
OTHER ARTISTS

Various Properties
A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
A small lacquer four-case inro and lacquer hako-netsuke
Both by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Meiji Period
Lacquered in gold takamaki-e and inlaid in pewter and mother-of-pearl with three flat-bottomed work boats laden with shiba (firewood) floating on formalised waves, signed with scratched characters Zeshin sha; the hako-netsuke decorated in gold, grey and red takamaki-e and tetsusabi-nuri with a single sprig of kaji (paper mulberry) on the top corner of the cover and an itomaki (silk winder) and a poem slip on the sides of the box, the interior of matt gold, signed with scratched characters Zeshin; with two tomobako, one consisting of an ikkanbari (lacquered-paper) box titled Shibafune inro (boats laden with firewood), the inside of the lid signed Honami zo, Koetsu zo sha, Zeshin (Zeshin copied the one made by Koetsu, owned by the Honami family) with seal Koma and a wood box titled Koetsu saku Zeshin o mo, ikkanbaribako-zoe, Shibafune maki-e inro (Maki-e inro with shibafune design, copied by the venerable Zeshin after one by Koetsu, accompanied by a lacquered-paper box), the inside of the lid signed Kakan'an Chikushin kan (examined by Kakan'an Chikushin) with seal Koma; together with an outer lacquered-wood storage box. The inro 6.1cm (2 3/8in) high. (4).

Footnotes

  • 柴船図螺鈿蒔絵印籠 銘「是真写」 
    附 七夕図蒔絵木製箱根付 銘「是真」 明治時代

    The theme of a boat laden with brushwood floating on the water relates to a poem by the Buddhist monk Jakuren (circa 1139-1202) included in the Shinkokinshu anthology (1205), Book 2:

    Kurete yuku / haru no minato wa / shiranedomo / kasumi ni otsuru / Uji no shibafune

    Where has the spring gone? / By the harbour / in the mist / a boat laden with brushwood / drifts away down Uji River.

    According to the art historian and lacquer researcher Takao Yo, Shibata Zeshin made at least four inro of this design, all of them based on an inro by Koma Bunsai (1811-1871) which was itself based on a supposed original by Hon'ami Koetsu (1558-1637). One of the four Zeshin inro belonged to the Matsuzawa (a wealthy merchant family), while the second belonged to the Momiyama family (a long line of high-ranking samurai bureaucrats) and both were accompanied by a tomobako. A third, owned by the metal worker Kagawa Katsuhiro (1853-1917), was sold at auction in 1917 and is now believed to be in the Irving collection. This inro was signed Zeshin on the base and had a tomobako, like the example offered here, bearing an inscription Hon'ami-ke zo, Koetsu saku, Zeshin sha. (1)

    Notes:

    1. Takao Yo, Maki-e hakubutsukan, sakuhin tenjishitsu, Koma Kansai (Maki-e Museum, the Exhibition Gallery, Koma Kansai), http://makie-museum.com/skansai.html#bunsai
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