Vase and Stand

carved red lacquer, panels of kinji lacquer with encrustation of shell, ivory, carved red lacquer, and other materials

height 58 cm

Both this piece and the pair of vases L 121 combine two very distinct types of lacquering. Red lacquer painstakingly built up in many layers and then deeply carved is one of the most frequently-used techniques in Chinese lacquerware. It had already  It had already been imitated in Japan for many centuries, but while the pair of vases L 121 are of a form one might encounter in eighteenth-century Chinese lacquer (already popular with Western collectors at this date), the extravagant modelling of this vase and stand is very much in the exotic style of the middle Meiji Era. The second type of lacquering, kinji (burnished gold lacquer) encrusted with tinted shell and other materials, was the favourite technique of the Shibayama family and their imitators.

J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 149, p. 225.