A very rare blue-lacquer two-case inro  Attributed to Heishusai (Ishibashi Sojiro, 1847-1918), Meiji Period

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Lot 131
A very rare blue-lacquer two-case inro
Attributed to Heishusai (Ishibashi Sojiro, 1847-1918), Meiji Period
Sold for £ 50,000 (US$ 65,706) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very rare blue-lacquer two-case inro  Attributed to Heishusai (Ishibashi Sojiro, 1847-1918), Meiji Period
A very rare blue-lacquer two-case inro
Attributed to Heishusai (Ishibashi Sojiro, 1847-1918), Meiji Period
The flattened hexagonal body with an ultramarine blue ground embellished with a sprinkling of gold powder, decorated with three butterflies flitting around chrysanthemums, in gold and coloured togidashi maki-e, the interior of nashiji, unsigned; with a bone ojime. 5.4cm (2 1/8in) high.

Footnotes

  • 菊に蝶図蒔絵印籠 無銘 明治時代

    Provenance: Edward Gilbertson collection, no.5065.
    W. L. Behrens collection, no.208.
    Nairn collection.
    Lt. Col. J. B. Gaskell collection, no.586.
    F. A. Richards collection, sold at Sotheby's, 1964.
    Victor Topper collection.
    Eskenazi, Ltd., London, 1982.
    Wrangham collection, no.1612.

    Published: Glendining and Co. (H. L. Joly comp.), W. L. Behrens Collection, Part II, Lacquer and Inro, London, 1913-4, no.208, pl.XXI.
    H. L. Joly and Kumasaka Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, London, Yamanaka & Co., 1916, no.201, pl.LXXXVI.
    International Netsuke Society Journal, vol.31, no.4 (Winter 2012), p.38.

    This and the two other recorded blue-lacquered inro are discussed in an article by Else and Heinz Kress in the International Netsuke Society Journal article referred to above, pp.34-39. Of the three, the only signed specimen is in the Garrett collection, Evergreen House, Baltimore, illustrated by Neil K. Davey and Susan G. Tripp, The Garrett Collection, Japanese Art, Lacquer, Inro, Netsuke, London, Dauphin Publishing, 1993, p.208, no.209. There, the signature was mistransliterated as Taira Shusai; it should be read Heishusai. The second example is in the collection of Heinz and Else Kress. Each of them depict flowers and butterflies in a similar manner to the present example, which can confidently be attributed to Heishusai.
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