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.

Rare! Suwa Sozan I Carved Lacquer Guri Kogo Incense Case


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1920: Item # 1436426

Please refer to our stock # MOR8034 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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 $4,000.00 
A small round heavily lacquered box made to contain incense carved with Peonies by Imperial Artist Suwa Sozan I enclosed in the original signed wooden box. Layer upon layer of lacquer has been applied over time, each subsequent layer allowing for drying, then the entire is carved through with the floral motif. This would likely have been years in the making. This kogo is 3 inches (7.5 cm) diameter and in perfect condition signed underneath Sozan. Sozan was known best for his impeccable celadons, and was one of only five potters ever recognized with the status of Teishitsu Gigei-In (Member of the Imperial Art Academy). Lesser known is his predilection for lacquerware. An ardent Literatus and Sinophile, Sozan would try his hand at various art forms, including painting, calligraphy, carved lacquer, inlayed lacquer, porcelain and pottery.
Suwa Sozan I (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio before establishing his own. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain and was one of only five potters to be named Teishitsu Gigei-in. The Teishitsu Gigei-in were members of the Imperial Art Academy, Perhaps in modern terms one might call them the predecessors to the Living National Treasures. However unlike the LNT, there were only five Pottery artists ever named Teishitsu Gigei-in, Ito Tozan, Suwa Sozan, Itaya Hazan, Miyagawa Kozan, and Seifu Yohei III. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others.