TANAKA TADAYOSHI 田中唯吉 (ALSO KNOWN AS MUNEYOSHI 宗義,  DIED 1950) IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A SNAKE 大蛇自在鉄置物 Taisho era (1912–1926), circa 1915

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Lot 3*
TANAKA TADAYOSHI 田中唯吉 (ALSO KNOWN AS MUNEYOSHI 宗義, DIED 1950) IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A SNAKE 大蛇自在鉄置物
Taisho era (1912–1926), circa 1915

Sold for £ 125,062 (US$ 157,252) inc. premium
TANAKA TADAYOSHI 田中唯吉 (ALSO KNOWN AS MUNEYOSHI 宗義, DIED 1950) IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A SNAKE 大蛇自在鉄置物
Taisho era (1912–1926), circa 1915
A model of a large snake, finely constructed from numerous russet-iron hammered plates with hidden joints inside the body, the head incised with scales and fitted with a hinged jaw opening to reveal a movable tongue, gilt eyes; signed on the underside of the jaw Muneyoshi 宗義

162.9cm (64⅛in) long

With wood storage box (2)

Provenance:
Christie's New York, 18 April 2018, lot 111

Footnotes

  • A pupil of Takase Kōzan, a celebrated maker of articulated animals, Tanaka Tadayoshi is best known for superb dragons, snakes, shachihoko (dragon fish), and other creatures made during the first half of the 20th century; see Harada 2016, p.225.

    Of all the categories of late Edo-period and Meiji-era artefact eagerly collected outside Japan over the last 150 years, articulated animals have left the least trace of documentary evidence concerning their background and development. Even the Japanese word for them, jizai or jizai okimono, appears to be a post-Edo term. Yet regardless of their obscure origins, these displays of Asian dexterity perfectly matched trends in Western Orientalist taste in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. In Europe, they were first highlighted in the Parisian journal Le Japon Artistique (1888-1891), which reproduced an articulated frog in three different positions and described it in detail. They were not reintroduced to Japanese audiences, however, until October 1983, when several examples were displayed in the special exhibition Nihon no kinko (Japanese Metalwork) held at Tokyo National Museum.
Contacts
TANAKA TADAYOSHI 田中唯吉 (ALSO KNOWN AS MUNEYOSHI 宗義,  DIED 1950) IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A SNAKE 大蛇自在鉄置物 Taisho era (1912–1926), circa 1915
TANAKA TADAYOSHI 田中唯吉 (ALSO KNOWN AS MUNEYOSHI 宗義,  DIED 1950) IRON ARTICULATED MODEL OF A SNAKE 大蛇自在鉄置物 Taisho era (1912–1926), circa 1915
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