Presented is a superb Japanese early Showa period bronze mixed metal inlay Baluster vase with rounded shoulders and evented neck. The vase depicts a handsome rooster, (onagadori), perched on a flowering cherry or plum branch, highlighted in silver, gold, and copper, (‘iroe takazogan’, ‘hirazogan’, and ‘shishiaibori). The Onagadori, (Longtail), was referred to as the “Most Honourable Fowl” with many legends, stories, and tales throughout the Taisho and Showa Periods. The Onagadori is considered a rare, pure-bred Natural Monument to avicultural breeding and is distinctive in that the main feathers grow thoughout the lifetime of the rooster. The coloration of this rooster motif is highlighted with copper and silver.
The bronze has a rich dark patina, and isvery complementary to the bright silver and copper. The vase is signed on the side with the mark on the underside translated as ‘Central Purchasing Office’ and was used to indicate items sold during the occupation just after WWII. Condition: Exceptional, and quite heavy, with the inlay all intact, having no breaks or repairs. Comes with its original rosewood stand. Dimension: 7-1/2”h x 2-3/4”w
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.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection