Japanese Cast Iron | Hanging Lantern | Taisho – 1930

Pictured is an Vintage Japanese solid cast-iron lantern or Andon dating to the early 1930s. Lanterns such as this were traditionally used at the entrance or in the interior of a Japanese structure providing illumination in the evenings. This particular piece was for indoor use and either hung or placed on a platform. It is made of heavy Cast Iron, (Tetsubin), which has aged naturally to a beautiful patina. It has a graceful pagoda roof ornamented with stylized waves representing the tiles and a sculptured attachment for hanging. The round lantern incorporates four highly decorated filigree panels, (two have geometric designs; two have stylized cloud patterns surrounding a larger opening representing a moon viewing window). The piece has hand-chased metal fittings, an operable door with a latch to light the candle or oil lamp, and four delicate, sculptured feet. This piece is in remarkable condition with hinges and latch still in sound condition. It contains a depression on the interior base to hold the lighting element. Dimensions: 12-0”h x 11-1/2”w. Weight: 11lbs.

Historical Information —

Andon became popular in the Edo period in Japan and are found in many shapes and materials, including metal, wood and paper. The okiandon was most common for indoors. Many had either a vertical box or round shape, with an inner stand for the light. Some had a drawer on the bottom to facilitate refilling and lighting. A handle on top made it portable, and cuould be used for hanging. A variety was the Enshū-andon: tubular in shape, it had an opening instead of a drawer. Another variety was the Ariake-andon, used as a bedside lamp. The Kake-andon style hungunder the eaves of a shop, often bearing the name of the merchant; was a common sight in the villages. The expression Hiru-andon, or “daytime lamp,” meant something that had an aesthetic purpose.

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