musen enamels ; shakudo rim and foot
height 30.5 cm
A cloisonné enamel vase with an ovoid body decorated in musen enamel with flowering cherry-trees indistinctly visible through a mist of graduated tones of grey-green and yellow. The surface entirely matt. Applied with shakudo rim and foot.
Unusually in the work of Namikawa Sosuke, there is no visible use of wire at all, save only in the signature. A large enamel panel with similar decoration of cherry-trees in mist, worked in the same techniques, was exhibited at the Fourth National Industrial Exposition in Kyoto in 1895. It is illustrated in Namikawa Sosuke’s 1896 booklet. Thus, earlier in the seven intervening years there was no change in Sosuke’s style of depiction of this type of scene or else the vase was made earlier and the inscription added separately in 1902; this latter possibility appears more likely.
O. Impey, M. Fairley (eds.), Meiji No Takara: Treasures Of Imperial Japan: Enamel, London 1994, cat. 96. J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 215, pp. 306–7.