A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray  By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895

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Lot 395
A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray
By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895

Sold for £ 21,250 (US$ 27,286) inc. premium
A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray
By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895
Worked in musen and silver wire with a design of two quails, the ground of a pale grey rising to light blue, within a shakudo rim, the reverse worked in gilt wire enamel with numerous densely patterned cherry blossoms in pale brown on a dark plum-coloured ground; signed in silver wire with a single character Sakigake (the seal of Namikawa Sosuke). 26cm x 30cm (10¼in x 11¾in).

Footnotes

  • 双鶉図七宝盆 濤川惣助作 明治時代(1890-95年)

    Provenance: a European private collection.

    One of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, Namikawa Sosuke was until recently best known in Japan for a set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo's Akasaka Rikyu Palace, completed in 1909. These date from the last years of his very productive life, nearly three decades after he began to experiment with the technique known as musen shippo (wireless enameling), his most enduring contribution to an art form that developed at extraordinary speed in Japan between the mid-nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. In Chinese cloisonné enameling, the wires separating the different areas of fused and polished enamels that made up a design also served to hold the enamels in place during the firing process, and the individual areas of color were relatively small. Sosuke, followed shortly after by his rivals, managed to improve the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely to the metal bases of his wares, allowing him to introduce large areas of color into his designs, although it is thought that wires between different colors still had to be painstakingly applied and removed at each stage of manufacture. Thanks to these and other technical breakthroughs, later Meiji-era enamelers were often able to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. In recognition of his achievements, in 1896 Sosuke was appointed to the order of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsman to the Imperial Household).
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A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray  By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895
A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray  By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895
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