Antique Japanese Urushi Lacquer Bowl Makie Set | 1850-1899
Kyoto lacquerware has always been regarded as the most exquisite in all of Japan. When one hears about a simple, subtle, and unobtrusive aesthetic beauty, this handsome pair is an exceptional example of both the period and lacquering process. The pair are unsigned, and “not made for export”, and were acquired in Shizuoka, Japan from a family whose elder member was an Etiquette Scholar, (tea ceremony). Shown are two Urushi bowls in wood and finished in a spectacular bark like texture on the exterior, and inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The interior is finished with a beautiful red lacquer with gold cherry blossom accents on the bottom of the bowl and lid. Condition: Exceptionally well preserved. No dings, chips, cracks, with wonderful color retention. Dimension: 3-3/4”h x 5-0”dia.
Asian lacquer trees produce a unique, natural sap called “urushi” in Japanese. The urushi can be applied to just about any surface: wood, metal, cloth, ceramics, etc. When it solidifies, it becomes an extremely durable coating protecting the wood bade and exterior surface, as well as providing an elegant, glossy finish. It is used with many different decorative techniques, such as the rare and unusual treatment afforded this rare pair.
Shibusa is an enriched, subdued appearance or experience of intrinsically fine quality with economy of form, line, and effort, producing a timeless tranquility. Shibusa is not to be confused with wabi or sabi. Though many wabi or sabi object are shibui, not all shibui objects are wabi or sabi. Shibusa walks a fine line between contrasting aesthetic concepts such as elegant and rough or spontaneous and restrained. In most cases shibusa are “muddy” colors and occasionally, like the interior of this set, a bright color is added as a highlight.