A three case inro bearing a roiro background with sparsely sprinkled gold hirame and kimpun. The front depicts a farmer surrounded by a crop of recently harvested rice (inekari) in dull gold takamaki. Most of the peasant’s face is hidden under a beautifully detailed straw hat in gold foil. A striking contrast is formed between the bright gold hat and the subdued gold rice. The peasant’s clothes are rendered in nunome nuri mitatea, with a small piece of inlaid aogai that has been lacquered over.
(nunome nuri mitatea is a technique used to imitate cloth)
The verso shows the next process in the harvest, rice hung on a line of inlaid aogai supported by a wooden stake in Takamaki with beautifully detailed bark.
Dating to the 18th century this inro is in brilliant condition with only a small, very well executed restoration to the bottom corner visible under strong direct light.
Signed – Kajikawa Hidetaka; Hidetaka was the son of Fusataka and worked in Edo for the shogunate.
A much earlier 17th century inro depicting the same design but with two peasants can be found in the 1990 Eskenazi catalogue “The Charles A. Greenfield Collection of Japanese Lacquer” number 9
Provenance – Michael Tompkinson Collection number 134; the inro has remained in the Tompkinson family and was sold by a direct descendant (the usual collection sticker is missing but the inro is described in his 1899 catalogue).
Description in his 1899 catalogue – “rice harvest, gold on a black background; a very good example of his work”.
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