Large Japanese Silver and Mixed Metal Vase

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As part of our Japanese works of art collection we are delighted to offer this large scale exceptional quality late Meiji Period 1868-1912, early Taisho period 1912-1926, pure silver and mixed metal vase by the well recorded artist Ota Harukage also known as Ota Shunkei, born 1889 and recorded as working in Tokyo, on this occasion the artist was retained by the Mitsukoshi company, a firm founded in 1905 as commissioning agents and retailers within a department store, the Mitsukoshi seal is impressed into the base of the vase alongside the Jungin pure silver mark. The artist has manufactured an exceptional quality large scale heavy silver vase that has been extensively decorated throughout with scenes of mixed metal Manchurian cranes, the cranes also formed from silver and with other precious alloys including shakudo, shibuichi and gold, one of the main scenes unusually depicts a crane drying and preening its extended wings, this charming scene surrounded by further studies of cranes at play and at rest. The artist has signed the vase with a hand chiseled signature above a gold seal , the vase comes complete with a delightful hardwood display stand as well as its original tomobako storage box. Enclosed is a certificate that carries a very interesting story of the vases loan to an Imperial visitors accommodation in 1950. Quite simply a beautiful piece of Japanese metalwork that was clearly deemed worthy of showcasing to a Japanese Emperor and would now grace any serious Japanese metalwork collection or themed room of your choice.

Literature : 

The artist is recorded at page 620 of the Tokyo dictionary of metalworkers (Wakayama Takeshi, Kinko Jiten ) he has various other works recorded including a bronze vase decorated with pine trees by the sea, now housed in the Tokyo art museum .

The inscription on the tomobako in this instance is best translated as “Sterling silver, a flower vessel, decorated with the design of a group of cranes in colour, made by Harukage (also pronounced Shunkei), Tokyo”.

The most interesting certificate enclosed describes an account from an exhibition which may be translated as “This is to attest that the item was inspected by the Emperor (Showa Emperor). The honoured item viewed by the emperor. A vase made in jungin (lit. “pure silver”, which means sterling silver), with the design of a group of cranes decorated in relief and colour (ukibori & iroe in Japanese), made by Harukage. The weight of the item: 618 monme in Japanese weight measurements (2317.5 gram = 2.317 kg; 1 monme is 3.75 grams in weight). On the 26th of March, Showa 25 (1950), the Emperor stayed at the Awa Kanko Hotel in Tokushima City during the Imperial Highness tour of the Shikoku Island. This vase was displayed and inspected by the emperor in the dining room of the suit of rooms where he stayed. With the seal of President of the Hotel, Mrs Okada Mitsuyo, Awa Kanko Hotel Corporation, Kamiya-machi 3 chome 5, Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture.

Provenance : 

Direct to us from a Japanese collection .

Condition report : 

Immaculate age related condition with minimal signs of wear.

Approximate Sizes :

Height of vase :  14″ 35.5 cm

Height inc stand : 15 3/4″ 40 cm

Diameter :  7 1/8″ 18 cm

Weight :  74 1/2″ oz   2317 grams

Free worldwide delivery and a certificate of authenticity are included within the price of this item.

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