Étiquettes

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Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807-1891), Inrō (medicine case) with design of Shōki the demon queller and a demon, and netsuke (toggle) with sake-bottle design 鍾馗鬼遣図蒔絵鞘印籠 酒瓢図蒔絵根付, Meiji era (1868-1912), circa 1886. Estimate £60,000 – 80,000 ‘€76,000 – 100,000). Photo: Bonhams

In sheath-inrō form, the case of wood covered in silverfundame textured in ishime-nuri to imitate the walls of a rustic dwelling, each side pierced with a window, the window bars rendered on one side in shell and on the other intetsusabi-nuri, one side of the sheath hinged to release the container inside, the interior of the sheath finished in dull gold fundame lacquer, the container probably of paper, with overhanging lid and divided interior, covered in gold kinji andishime-nuri, on the front Shōki the Demon-queller in colouredtogidashi maki-e seen from the waist up, dressed in the robes and cap of a Chinese scholar-official, with his sword on his back and wearing a baleful expression, the reverse also in togidashi maki-e with an oni (demon) in silhouette hiding behind a shōji (paper screen), the netsuke in box form, of wood lacquered in shibuichi-nuri and with a design of a large and a small decorated gourd in takamaki-e; iron and gold ojime (bead) in the form of a mallet
The inrō signed in scratched characters on the base near one of the cord-runners Zeshin 是真
The netsuke signed in scratched characters on the baseZeshin 是真
The inrō 8.2 × 6 × 1.6 cm (3¼ × 2 3/8 × 5/8 in.)
The netsuke 3.2 × 2.7 × 1.4 cm (1¼ × 1 × ½ in.)
With fitted wooden storage box.

Provenance:
Inrō: Vever Collection
Vignier Collection
Densmore Collection
Bess Collection
Greenfield Collection, sold in 1990
Netsuke: Hayashi Collection, sold in 1902
Vever Collection
Greenfield Collection, sold in 1990

Exhibited and published: Stern 1972, cat. no. 164 (inrō)
Pekarik 1980, cat. no. 79
Eskenazi 1990, cat. no. 79
Nezu Bijutsukan 2012, cat. no. 87

Notes: The Chinese Demon-queller Shōki, in pursuit of a fleeing oni (demon), was one of Zeshin’s favourite subjects in both lacquer and painting, and numerous examples are extant (see for example Gōke 1981a, pl. 263, 264). The Nezu Museum in Tokyo owns an inrō (Nezu Bijutsukan 1912, cat. no. 86) which is very similar to the present lot with the difference that the inner container is in the more usual form of a set of interlocking compartments. With its intricate structure, complex range of techniques, lively characterization, and meticulous finish, this lot combines all of the virtues of Zeshin’s finest inrō.

Bonhams. THE MISUMI COLLECTION OF IMPORTANT WORKS OF LACQUER ART AND PAINTINGS, Part I – 5 Nov 2014 14:00 GMT – LONDON, NEW BOND STREET