SHIBATA ZESHIN: A FINE KISERUZUTSU WITH FRUITING TAMARILLO BRANCH
Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912)
The kiseruzutsu of muso-zutsu form and lacquered magnificently to emulate woven bamboo (rattan). The ground is decorated with fine takamaki-e to depict an image of a fruiting tamarillo branch, a very rare exotic fruit imported by the Dutch. Two large ripening fruits (the fruits turn deep red when ripe) are executed in thick takamaki-e, the ripening process is emulated masterfully - the orange streaks in the red appear like the stroke of a paintbrush. The vines are executed playfully, and the leaves are finely lacquered in black with golden veins. The insert continues the design and shows golden buds. Signed on the bottom of the insert ZESHIN.
The tranquility of the design, superior lacquering, as well as the very unusual emulative ground, suggest that this is by the master himself or at least very close hand.
HEIGHT 22.5 cm
Condition: Excellent and original condition with miniscule expected wear to lacquer.
Provenance: Collection of Drs. Edmund and Julie Lewis.
Shibata Zeshin (March 15, 1807 - July 13, 1891) was a Japanese lacquer artist and painter of the late Edo period and early Meiji era. He has been called "Japan's greatest lacquerer". He was known for his techniques in imitating various materials such as bronze or iron - or in this case woven bamboo.
Auction comparison: Compare to a related inro by Zeshin, sold by Van Ham, Asiatische Kunst, 12 June 2019, Cologne, lot 2236.