musen and cloisonné enamels, shakudo rim
width 27.7 cm
An enamel tray of lobed outline decorated in partially wire-less enamel with a white egret perched on one leg on a willow-branch, the leaves and branch decorated in tones of grey to simulate ink-painting, while some of the details of the bird are in tones of yellow, all on a pale grey, matt ground. The reverse scattered with numerous gilt wire cherry-blossoms in tones of brown and fawn on a plum ground. Applied with a shakudo rim. Inscribed in the enamel ‘Seitei’ with kakihan.
This is one of several enamels from the Namikawa Sosuke Workshop, both signed and unsigned, that are based on designs by the painted and book illustrator Watanabe Seitei. Namikawa sosuke seldom used a matte ground; when he did, it was apparently in order to evoke the atmospheric effect of an ink painting, even though there is some colour on this piece.
O. Impey, M. Fairley (eds.), Meiji No Takara: Treasures Of Imperial Japan: Enamel, London 1994, cat. 91. J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 209, p. 301.