Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) SAYA (SCABBARD) WITH DESIGN OF GINGKO NUTS 銀杏図蒔絵脇差拵 Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1870-1890 (2)

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Lot 4*
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) SAYA (SCABBARD) WITH DESIGN OF GINGKO NUTS 銀杏図蒔絵脇差拵
Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1870-1890

Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 23,861) inc. premium
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) SAYA (SCABBARD) WITH DESIGN OF GINGKO NUTS 銀杏図蒔絵脇差拵
Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1870-1890
The scabbard of mottled chadō-nuri, decorated toward the end with two gingko nuts and stalks, one in gold, the other in seidō-nuri, both textured with charcoal dust, a gingko leaf carved into the lacquer ground; the scabbard-mounts all of buffalo horn with the exception of the ebony kurigata (fitting for the tying cord); the kozuka (small knife carried in the scabbard) of shakudō nanako (blue-black patinated copper-gold alloy with a granulated surface) with shibuichi (grey-green patinated silver-copper alloy) and gold, depicting a swallow and lilies; the back of the kozuka gilt with nekogaki ('cat scratches'); the steel blade engraved with a depiction of part of a tsuitate (small non-folding screen); the hilt covered in rayskin bound with twisted leather strips; the tsuba (hand guard) of black lacquer; the seppa (washers) gilt; the fuchi (collar) of shakudō nanako and gilt, depicting a deer beneath a lantern hanging from the eaves of the Kasuga Shrine in Nara; the kashira (pommel) of buffalo horn; the tying cord of braided silk; wooden tsukuri (dummy sword blade)

Signed on the reverse toward the end of the scabbard, in delicately scratched characters, Zeshin 是真

Length 47.5 cm (18¾ in.)

With fitted wooden storage box

Exhibited and published: Nezu Bijutsukan 2012, cat. no.41 (2).

Footnotes

  • There are probably less than a dozen published examples of swords lacquered by Zeshin, with the decoration often confined to a single motif toward one end of the scabbard, as here (Gōke 1981b, pl. 95-100; Nezu Bijutsukan 2012, cat. nos. 40-41). The scabbard is finished in chadō-nuri ('tea bronze' lacquering), a brown-toned variant on Zeshin's favourite seidō-nuri (see Glossary). Careful inspection of the surface reveals that Zeshin avoided the even, highly polished finish seen in conventional sword mountings, deliberately texturing the lacquer to produce a mottled, antique look that typifies the iki aesthetic discussed in the Introduction. Zeshin expressed the different states of ripeness of the two fruits by lacquering one in gold and the other in seidō-nuri, and carved the leaf in the lacquer after it had dried, in imitation of metalworking techniques. The fittings on the hilt are by other, anonymous, artists.
Contacts
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) SAYA (SCABBARD) WITH DESIGN OF GINGKO NUTS 銀杏図蒔絵脇差拵 Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1870-1890 (2)
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891) SAYA (SCABBARD) WITH DESIGN OF GINGKO NUTS 銀杏図蒔絵脇差拵 Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1870-1890 (2)
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