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.

Lacquer Writing Box by Ito Tozan, Kamisaka Sekka and Hyoetsu

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1930: Item # 1483436
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
Guest Book
 sold, thank you 
sold, thank you

Porcelain cranes in a lead tree decorate the lacquered top of this gilded wooden box enclosed in the original wooden box titled Romatsu Sokaku Zu (Ancient Pine Two Cranes) and signed Sekka, with signatures of Tozan II (porcelain decoration) and Suzuki Hyoetsu (lacquer artist) inside. In this case, Kamisaka Sekka produced the design, enlisting two of Kyoto’s then top artisans to complete the work, lacquer artist Miki Hyoetsu I who applied the lead, gold and lacquer and Ito Tozan who created the ceramic cranes and pine boughs. The box is in unused condition, containing the original stone and water-dropper and two brushes still wrapped in paper. It is 25.5 x 10 x 3.5 cm (10 x 4 x 1-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition. Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) is the godfather of 20th century Japanese design and the Rimpa revival. He was born in Kyoto in 1866, one of six siblings. From 1882 he began his artistic career, however did not take-off until visiting the Paris Expo in 1901, where he was exposed to Art Nouveau and Western industrial design concepts. He was adept as a painter and designer in an assortment of other media, working with various artisans to bring to life his ideas. He was employed as a teacher at the Kyoto Municipal School of Art, and was widely exhibited and prized throughout his career, which ended in retirement in 1938. Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III and Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prized at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title, and like his teacher Denshichi, created the dishes from which the Imperial family would eat. He worked very closely with his adopted son, Ito Tozan II (1871-1937). He too began life as a painter, but his talent was seen by Tozan I, who adopted him and converted him to pottery, where he both succeeded and excelled as a member of one of Kyotos most well known pottery families. Miki Hyoetsu I was born in 1877, establishing a line of craftsman which lasts to this day. He was exhibited at the Shotoku Taishi Ten and Paris World Exposition among others.