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Lot 515. An exceptionally fine baluster moriage cloisonné-enamel vase, by Hattori Tadasaburo, Meiji era (1868-1912), late 19th-early 20th century; 31cm (12 1/16in) high. Estimate £15,000-20,000Sold for £100,000 (€ 114,514). Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- An exceptionally fine baluster moriage cloisonné-enamel vase by Hattori Tadasaburo, Meiji era, sold for an impressive £100,000 at Bonhams Fine Japanese Sale in London yesterday (17 May). The lot far exceeded its estimate of £15,000-20,000.  Finely decorated with brightly coloured fruiting persimmon branches draped diagonally across the front and over shoulder, the ripe fruits in orange and the leaves in graduated tones of green, the outline of the trunk worked in yusen, all reserved on a greyish-purple ground, applied with a silver rim and foot; signed on the base in silver wire Hattori tsukuru

A kawari kabuto (helmet) from the Edo period also performed extremely well achieving £43,750, against an estimate of £6,000-8,000. 

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Lot 152. A kawari kabuto (helmet), Edo period (1615-1868), 18th-19th century. Estimate £6,000 - 8,000. Sold for £ 43,750 (€ 50,100). Photo: Bonhams.

The iron helmet bowl built up with harikaki, black lacquered to represent a shachihoko, the mythical dragon fish seen as roof end tiles on castles and temples as protection against fire, boldly modelled with scales and an extremely curled tail, on either side of the head curled fins, the lips on the wide mouth red lacquered, a red-lacquered tongue curling up under the nose, the gilt metal eyes, to the rear an iron itamono Hineno jikoro, black-lacquered and laced in blue kebiki odoshiunsigned

Other highlights from the sale included: 

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Lot 519. A totai jippo (partial plique-à-jour) cloisonné-enamel trumpet vase by Ando Jubei, Taisho (1912-1926) or Showa (1926-1989) era, early 20th century;  24.7cm (9¾in) high. Estimate £8,000-12,000. Sold for £37,500 (€ 42,943). Photo: Bonhams.

Delicately worked in silver wire and transparent enamels with three goldfish in musenswimming beneath a band of blossoming lotus flowers and leaves encircling the neck; all on a pale celadon ground; signed in silver wire on the base with the mark of Ando, applied with a silver rim and foot, the foot rim marked Jungin (Pure silver). 

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Lot 322. Possibly by Arai Kanchiku Tsunesato (d.1731), Edo period;  early 18th century, Pair of six-panel folding screens. Each approx. 172cm x 374cm (64¾in x 147¼in). Estimate £25,000-30,000 . Sold for £35,000 (€ 40,080). Photo: Bonhams.

ink, colours and gold on gold paper, one side with the classic Uji Bridge composition of willow tree, bridge, stone-filled baskets, waterwheel, stylized waves and golden clouds, the reverse with bamboo and pines on a gold background, signed Tsunesato hitsu (Brushed by Tsunesato).

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Lot 331. A Nabeshima polychrome saucer dish, Edo period (1615-1868), late 17th century; 6cm x 20.3cm (2 3/8in x 8 3/8in) diam. Estimate £10,000-15,000. Sold for £35,000 (€ 40,080). Photo: Bonhams.

Of shallow saucer form, raised on a high foot, painted with trailing camellia blossoms strung on a line, in underglaze blue and iron-red and yellow enamels, the reverse with three clusters of tasselled cash, the foot with a typical combed design in underglaze blue. 

NotesFor examples of the same design, see Yoshiko Kakudo (ed.), The Art of Japan, Masterworks in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 1991, pl.113; Takasu Toyoji, Toki Zenshu: Kakiemon, Nabeshima(Collection of Ceramics: Kakiemon and Nabeshima Ware), vol.23, Tokyo, Heibonsha, 1961, pl.54; Mayuyama Junkichi (ed.), Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol.1, Tokyo, Benrindo Co. Ltd., 1976, pl.138.

Two further examples of the design were sold at Christie's, London, 5 December 2017, lots 94 and 95.

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A porcelain dish, Nabeshima ware, Okawachi official kilns, Hizen (Imari city), Edo period, Late 17th - early 18th century; 20.3 cm. diam. Price realised GBP 15,000 at Christie's, London, 5 December 2017, lot 94. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Cf. my post: A porcelain dish, Nabeshima ware, Okawachi official kilns, Hizen (Imari city), Edo period, Late 17th - early 18th century

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A porcelain dish, Nabeshima ware, Okawachi official kilns, Hizen (Imari city), Edo period (Late 17th - early 18th century); 20.3 cm. diam. Price realised GBP 22,500 at Christie's, London, 5 December 2017, lot 95. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Cf. my post: A porcelain dish, Nabeshima ware, Okawachi official kilns, Hizen (Imari city), Edo period (Late 17th - early 18th century)

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Lot 149. A finely mounted Mino aikuchi (short sword), the blade by Kanetsuna, Muramachi Muromachi period (1333-1573), late 15th century, the fittings by Shoami Katsuyoshi (1832-1908), Meiji era (1868-1912), dated 1875. The blade 21.5cm (8½in) long. (5).  Estimate £15,000-20,000. Sold for £32,500 (€ 37,217). Photo: Bonhams.

The blade of hira-zukuri form, medium suguba of nioiwith profuse nie and a section of notare, tight mokume-hada, the ubu nakago with one mekugi-ana, signed Kanetsunakoshirae (mounting): the saya of black lacquer; the en-suite fittings of silver, engraved in katakiriand kebori with bamboo, the kozuka signed Katsuyoshiwith a kao, dated Meiji hachi koyomi kinoto-i chuto kore o saku (made in November 1875), the wari-kogai signed Kaiguzoroi Shoami; with two silk bags.  

NoteAccompanied by a NBTHK Hozon certificate issued in August 2006 for the blade.

One of the greatest metalworkers of the Meiji era, Katsuyoshi was born in Mimasaka Province (present-day Okayama Prefecture). He received his early training from his father Nakagawa Katsutsugu, but was adopted at age 18 by a local branch of the Shoami, a dynasty of sword-fitting makers active all over Japan, and went on to work for the Ikeda family in Bizen Province. Although he remained in his home district for most of his career, he developed his practice by studying with his older brother Nakagawa Issho, from whom he absorbed something of the style of Issho's teacher, the great Goto Ichijo. With the onset of the Meiji restoration (1867–8) and the Haitorei edict of 1876, which proscribed the traditional samurai privilege of wearing two swords, Katsuyoshi lost his traditional sources of patronage but soon became exceptionally successful at adapting his skills to new kinds of production including tea-ceremony utensils, flower vases, and incense burners. He also exhibited frequently at major domestic and international expositions, garnering no fewer than 28 awards. Always keen to broaden his artistic horizons, in 1900 Shoami Katsuyoshi finally moved to Kyoto. Pieces by Shoami Katsuyoshi are featured in several important collections of Meiji-era art. Among the most famous are a silver incense burner in the form of a caparisoned Buddhist elephant in the Khalili Collection and a large group in Kyoto's Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum.

Suzannah Yip, Head of Fine Japanese Art, said ‘These robust results at Bonhams confirm that London remains a leading centre for Japanese art. The spectacular prices seen in several categories clearly demonstrate that collectors appreciate the intrinsic merit of the superb, fresh-to-the-market pieces that we offered."