Antique Japanese Set of Two Lacquer Sake Cups (Sakazuki), Meiji Period

Sale price$250.00
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Dimensions: 2-0”h x 6-0” dia

A finely decorated set of two red lacquer sake cups on pedestals, (sakazuki), featuring two Japanese Gods made in the Meiji period, circa 1900, Japan. Each is the same size and in a traditional pedestal form, crafted as a shallow bowl supported by a high, slightly splayed, ring foot. Each cup is lacquered with bright vermillion and decorated in the maki-e and takamaki-e techniques. The mouth and foot rim gilded. The exterior of the bowls is left plain and emphasizes the deep rich red lacquer. The main motif on each is adapted from various Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto Gods and saints. We believe these two were specifically made as a wedding gift with the two symbols wishing a prosperous life for the couple.

Cup 1: Represents Daikoku wielding a magic mallet, (kozuchi) with which he grants wishes. Daikoku is associated with accomplishments of one’s goals and with wealth for which he is shown magically producing coins that are floating in front of his running figure.  Cup 2: Represents Ebisu who is a Shinto god, the patron of work, specifically tradesmen and fishermen, and is usually depicted wearing a Japanese costume and headdress. He has a portly figure, large swollen earlobes, (folklore tells that he was deaf), and has his fishing rod floating in the background with his freshly-caught fish with a glowing mother-of-pearl eye – a Tai (sea bream, sea bass, or dorado), itself a symbol of good luck.

Condition: Each Sakazuki is in perfect condition without loss of color or chips and has a patina commensurate with age.