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.
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Antique Japanese Lacquer Box by Yoshida Rissai

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1920: Item # 1440413

Please refer to our stock # MOR8076 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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Mother of pearl flowers rise among the large leaves of a paulownia tree on this small lacquer box and tray dating from the early 20th century enclosed in the original signed wooden box by Yoshida Rissai. The workmanship is flawless, with a fine sense of depth brought on by the mother of pearl lined with gold powder and set against a ground of golden mist on black. Inside is a rich, red tinged nashiji ground. The box is 14 x 11 x 5.5 cm (5-1/2 x 4-1/4 x 2-1/4 inches) and both box and tray are in excellent condition.
Yoshida Rissai (1867-1935) was born the son of a Nara painter attached to some of Japan’s holiest sites, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Todaiji Temple, and Kofukuji Temple. In his home town of Nara was the Shosoin Treasure house which housed the 8th century Imperial art Collection. The Meiji government, which promoted the protection and production of arts and crafts as part of its modern nation policies, held the Nara Expo at which the Shosoin treasure was also exhibited and this until then largely unseen collection of 8,000 items inspired generations of artist to delve into the past and look at the history of crafts. The repair and imitation as well as restoration began in earnest in the early Meiji era. One of the names that rose to the top for both restoration of the imperial treasures as well as research and duplication of techniques was Yoshida Rissai, and it was he who brought the name of "Nara Lacquer Ware" to the world. His brother Kyusai also became a lacquer artist, but took his mother’s surname Kitamura. This box made by Rissai appears to have come from the collection of the Kitamura side of the family, Signed made by Rissai of the Southern Capitol inside, with the name Kitamura Noritsugu as the owner written outside the box. The descendant of this family Kitamura Shosai became the first Living National Treasure for Raden lacquer inlay in 1999.