MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century

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Lot 2*
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物
Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century

Sold for £ 12,562 (US$ 15,694) inc. premium
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物
Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
A small articulated model of a toad, finely constructed from russet-iron hammered plates with hidden joints inside the body, the limbs movable, the details finely hammered and decorated with stripes inlaid in gold, the eyes inlaid in shakudō; signed on the underside of the body Echizen no jū Myōchin Yoshihisa saku 越前住明珍吉久作 (Made by Myōchin Yoshihisa of Echizen [Province])

3.2cm x 4.1cm (1¼in x 1⅝in)

With fitted wood tomobako inscribed outside Echizen no jū Myōchin Yoshihisa saku bunchin 越前住明珍吉久作文鎮 (Paperweight made by Myōchin Yoshihisa of Echizen [Province]); with inscription inside An'ei san aki Fushimi ni oite Hirooka Kyūemon kenjō 安永三秋於伏見 廣岡久右衛門献上 (Presented in 1774 at Fushimi [Kyoto] to Hirooka Kyūemon) (2)

Provenance:
Christie's New York, 18 April 2018, lot 110

Footnotes

  • The Myōchin family was the most successful of the numerous dynasties of professional armourers that originated in late-medieval Japan. In the Edo period (1615–1868) the family opened branches not just in the major cities but also in the main towns of many provincial fiefs, where they manufactured vast quantities of the cuirasses, helmets, face masks, and other components that were needed for samurai armour. Myōchin craftsmen were highly skilled in using tiny rivets to join multiple iron plates, creating protection that was both relatively light and highly flexible; over time, they adapted their traditional skills to make ingenious and astonishingly lifelike articulated models of snakes, fishes, crustaceans, and insects. The first Myōchin Yoshihisa (thought to have died in 1664) was followed by several generations of armourers who also made articulated animals at least until the end of the Edo period; see Harada 2016, p. 225.
Contacts
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
MYŌCHIN YOSHIHISA 明珍吉久 IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A TOAD 蝦蟇自在鉄置物 Edo Period (1615–1868) or Meiji era (1868–1912), 19th century
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