An early three-case inrō bearing a gold fundame ground with tiny, sparsely scattered gold flakes. The design is in the style of Korin with inlays of pewter, lead and shell.
Numerous 19th century and later reproductions of Korin style inrō exist, however, our example carries all the hallmarks of the late 17th century. Around the edges of the case, the worn fundame, revealing the black beneath, has formed a sumptuous patina. Even the chips appear to have significant age. In addition, the fundame ground with scattered gold flakes are all indicators that this inrō originates from the Korin studio.
The inside of the top case is signed “Hokkyō Korin ga” (Design by Korin, Hokkyo) in scratched Kanji, along with a sumi ink Kanji “Zu” (a design).
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