Condition: Excellent

Antique Japanese Bronze and Mixed Metal Rooster, (Onagadori), Vase | 1912-1926

Offered is a superb Japanese early Showa period bronze mixed metal inlay Baluster vase with rounded shoulders. The motif is of ‘Onagadori’ which is a breed of fowl originating in the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan. The Japanese government designates the breed in Kōchi as a ‘Special Natural Monument’. The vase being offered is an exceptional representation of both the “Long-tailed fowl”, of decorative bronze- making.

The coloration of this rooster motif is highlighted with copper and silver, (“iroe takazogan’, ‘hirazogan’, and ‘shishiaibori), and has a rich dark patina, and is very complementary to the contrasting bronze base. The vase is delicately signed on the side with the trade mark on the underside belonging to Nogawa. Condition: Exceptional, with excellent detailing. The inlay is completely intact, having no breaks or repairs. Comes with its original rosewood stand. Dimension: 4-1/4”h x 1-5/8”dia at the shoulder.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION —
Metalworking techniques had, of course, been brought to Japan from China and Korea even before the arrival of Buddhism. The first technology to reach Japan was that of casting bronze. Japan was fortunate enough to be blessed with rich natural resources of metals. As a result, domestic demand could be met entirely with domestic metal right up until the nineteenth century.

Metalworking involves an extraordinarily wide variety of techniques, among them casting, forging, chasing, damascene work, and cloisonné, and most of them are still being practiced in Kyoto today. Kyoto metal Inlay, (zogan), is the generic term for the technique of inserting pieces of one or more materials into a base material, creating patterns of silver and gold, representing a multitude of motifs treasured during the period of production.

After Japan opened its doors to the west at the end of the Meiji Restoration, (1920), and with the introduction of the Dutch East Indian Trading Company, foreigners were greatly attracted by the intricate, sumptuous beauty of Japanese metal inlay. Whereas in the past, the craftsmen had applied their techniques to sword guards, they now applied them to accessories and personal effects. The most favored designs featured landscapes, fauna, images of bamboo, tigers, Mount Fuji, Cherry Blossoms, mythological subjects such as dragons, and depiction of beautiful women. It was from this period that metal inlay produced in Kyoto became known as Kyo-zogan.

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