A pipe case of fine woven rattan depicting a famous bugaku dance in which Ryō-ō is perched on the head of a golden man who holds a Uchi-zue (hitting cane) in one hand. In our rendition we see the performer with long, finely detailed hair that disappears behind the shoulders and appears again around the performer’s feet, wearing clothes decorated with a rain dragon, clouds, and precise line work with embellishments of tiny sections of shell. The composition is dynamic and full of movement, representing the dance well.
Signed – Koshin (Maeyama Koshin)
There are a number of artists who sign their works Koshin, one using a Ko more familiar to the Koma lacquer artists. Maeyama Koshin, the artist of our pipe case, was a talented pupil of Zeshin. His work is relatively easily identifiable by the quality and dynamic nature of his composition, along with the very fine woven cases he employs. Then a group of various artists whose work is of a lesser quality and probably not able to be grouped in any meaningful way.
Late 19th century
Length - 22.5cm
Similar examples by Maeyama Koshin
A very subtle and fine pipe case depicting a horse and cherry blossoms published in Rosemary Bandini’s Japanese netsuke, kiseruzutsu lacquer and works of art, 2017. This is a pipe case that I own and, when you compare the beautiful tail to the hair of our performer and the dynamic composition of both, they are clearly from the same hand.
Bonhams of London, lot 2205, 2009 “The Bluette H. Kirchhoff Collection of Netsuke and Sagemono” selling for £4021
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