A large and unusual silver, shibuich and gilt okimono of a Dragon ascending Mount Fuji Meiji era (1868-1912), late 19th century, circa 1890s (2)

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Lot 208
A large and unusual silver, shibuich and gilt okimono of a Dragon ascending Mount Fuji
Meiji era (1868-1912), late 19th century, circa 1890s

Sold for £ 35,000 (US$ 44,214) inc. premium
A large and unusual silver, shibuich and gilt okimono of a Dragon ascending Mount Fuji
Meiji era (1868-1912), late 19th century, circa 1890s
Finely chiselled and wrought with details in shibuichi, silver, shakudo and gilt, the writhing three-clawed dragon modelled in relief, emerging from in front of modulated wisps of cloud towards the snow-decked tripartite peak, unsigned; resting on an elaborate, stepped removable en-suite wood stand embellished on the top surface with clouds and around the sides with gold-lacquer turbulent waves echoing the design of the wave-lashed Fuji. Mount Fuji: 38.5cm x 53cm (15 1/8in x 20 7/8in); the wood stand: 34.5cm x 58.5cm x 31cm (13½in x 23in x 12 1/8in). (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Purchased by Museum Volkenkunde Leiden (The National Ethnological Museum of Leiden), May 1896

    Starting in the seventeenth century, Mount Fuji became popular as a scenic location close to the burgeoning city of Edo (present-day Tokyo) and inspired the leading artists of the day both as a sacred, symbolic space and as a focus of national pride. The great painter Kano Tan'yu (1602-1674) pioneered the standard method for rendering the mountain and this was taken up throughout the Edo period by later masters such as Ogata Korin (1658-1716), Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828), and Hoitsu's leading pupil and successor Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858). One version by Kiitsu, in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, features a dragon ascending the side of the mountain with its tail in waves and its head in the clouds, as in this somewhat later metalwork version (see McKelway, Matthew P. McKelway, Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828), Japan Society, New York, 2012, cat. no.51).
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