SHIBATA ZESHIN 柴田是真 (1807–1891) URUSHI-E (LACQUER PAINTING) OF A POMEGRANATE BRANCH, FRUIT ON A TRAY, AND A WATER PITCHER 柘榴水瓶図額装漆絵 Meiji era (1868–1912), dated 1878

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Lot 6
SHIBATA ZESHIN 柴田是真 (1807–1891) URUSHI-E (LACQUER PAINTING) OF A POMEGRANATE BRANCH, FRUIT ON A TRAY, AND A WATER PITCHER 柘榴水瓶図額装漆絵
Meiji era (1868–1912), dated 1878

Sold for £ 25,062 (US$ 31,132) inc. premium
SHIBATA ZESHIN 柴田是真 (1807–1891) URUSHI-E (LACQUER PAINTING) OF A POMEGRANATE BRANCH, FRUIT ON A TRAY, AND A WATER PITCHER 柘榴水瓶図額装漆絵
Meiji era (1868–1912), dated 1878
Lacquer on paper, mounted as an album leaf and framed, depicting a pomegranate with its flowering branch resting on a seigaibon (circular metal serving tray) made from the alloy of copper and tin known as sahari, with a Chinese-style bronze mizutsugi (ewer) cast with low-relief ornament of hō-ō (phoenixes), these motifs executed in urushi-e in combination with a variety of kawari-nuri (special techniques) to convey the textures of the various utensils; signed Gyōnen nanajūni Zeshin 行年七十二是真 (Zeshin, aged 72) with seal Tairyūkyo 対柳居

Overall: 53.7cm × 58.2cm (21⅛in × 22⅞in)
Image: 31.9cm × 40.4cm (12½in × 15⅞in)


With wood storage box (2)

Provenance:
Sold in these Rooms, 5 November 2014, lot 11

Exhibited and Published:
Nezu Bijutsukan (Nezu Museum) 2012, cat. no. 123

Footnotes

  • As noted by Tahira Namiko in her catalogue entry for the Nezu Museum exhibition held in 2012, Zeshin used very thick layers of lacquer to convey the colour and texture of the metalwork depicted here. This suggests that the present painting was always intended to be mounted as an album leaf rather than a hanging scroll, since rolling and unrolling might have caused the lacquer to crack. Zeshin's skill in sahari-nuri, presumably imitating the exotic copper-tin alloy used to make the metal tray for tea-ceremony use shown here, was mentioned in a posthumous Imperial eulogy (Earle and Gōke 1996, p. 50). In addition to pictorial versions of sahari like the present example, he also made actual lacquer utensils that faithfully reproduce the metal's colour and texture (see lot 19 in the present catalogue). This composition as a whole is an eloquent expression of Zeshin's lifelong passion for the tea ceremony and its utensils.
Contacts
SHIBATA ZESHIN 柴田是真 (1807–1891) URUSHI-E (LACQUER PAINTING) OF A POMEGRANATE BRANCH, FRUIT ON A TRAY, AND A WATER PITCHER 柘榴水瓶図額装漆絵 Meiji era (1868–1912), dated 1878
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