The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.
Japanese Wakasa Lacquer Bowl and Tray

Japanese Wakasa Lacquer Bowl and Tray


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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1980: Item # 1418139

Please refer to our stock # MOR7090 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
tel.81-75-201-3497
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 $375.00 
A beautiful lacquered tray and matching bowl in the Wakasa lacquer tradition. Wakasa is a lacquer technique from Fukui prefecture near Kanazawa which started in the early Edo period (17th century) in which the beauty of the sea floor was depicted using layers of lacquer. This tray and bowl are hon-nuri; true multiple layers of lacquer and inclusions over a wood base polished down to reveal the pattern; a laborious and time consuming process. The bowl is 7-1/2 inches (19 cm) diameter, the tray 9 inches (23.5 cm) diameter and both are in overall excellent condition.
According to Furukawa Kosaku, 3rd generation lacquer artist, the amazing surface decoration which manifests after many layers of lacquer have been sanded and relacquered, is made possible by implanting foreign matter once a smooth base has been created. "It is the process that requires the most thought and care," explains Mr Furukawa. "We do it by applying pine needles and other bits and pieces before the lacquer hardens and if the lacquer hardens too quickly, it fails to gather around the foreign object, so the pattern does not emerge clearly." For this reason, Mr Furukawa says, they can only do the work of embedding the foreign objects in the cold winter months when the low humidity and low temperature slow down the hardening process. After the pattern-material has been applied, it is just a matter of repeating the process of lacquering and sanding over and over. He explains that they call it "idiot's lacquerware" because you end up going crazy with all that work. It takes a year to finish one piece.