Antique Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase Pair Hayashi School


Signed with the Hayashi School Logo

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    Meiji Period (1868-1912) 

    From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this pair of Antique Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vases by the Hayashi School in their Original Tomobako. The Cloisonne vases beautifully shaped with waisted hexagonal bodies, tapered necks and rounded top rims decorated upon a dark blue almost black glaze with opposing dragons. The dragons finely worked in varying gauge silver wire with visible scales and long tendrils coming from the nose. The pair enamelled with various colours really elevating the three dimensional look across the body of the vase. One vase bares the original sales label to the side while the bases are stamped with the makers mark for Hayashi School and the original cataloguing number sticker on one vase. Both vases are finished with silvered rims. The vases are accompanied by the original silk lined Tomobako with a single partition and cushioned interior for housing the vases. The exterior of the box is signed 七宝家 林製 (shippo studio, Hayashi made) with the Takahara & Co retailers logo showing that the vases were made in the Hayashi school and then retailed through Takahara & Co. The Vases date to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1900.

    Takahara & Co were located in Kyoto and a known manufacturer and retailer of shippo-yaki (cloisonne). There company mark contains two mountains crossing over which looks like a stylised capital M.

    Hayashi Kodenji was a student to Hayashi Shogoro (1835-1896) who played a pivotal role in training students in the art of cloisonne was a central figure in the cloisonné enamel industry well into the 20th century. Kodenji was the founder and head of the Shipo-cho enamelers guild and in 1894 he opened a school to train cloisonne workers that operated until 1907. He ran a showroom in Nagoya from 1907-1914 and also operated a sales branch in London. As a master of cloisonne wears he went on to win medals at expositions in Nuremberg 1885, Chicago 1893, Paris 1889 and St. Louis 1904 and finally a price at the Liege in 1905. He was awarded the Medal of the Green Ribbon in Japan (Ryokujuhosho) in 1902. Kodenji I went onto produce cloisonne wears with his son Suguemon (1859-1922) known as Kodenji II with virtually no easy distinction between either maker. They were both followed by Hayashi Tomijiro, Kodenji III (1879-1944) and Kurakichi Kodenji IV, (1904-1982).

    Cloisonne is a technique of decorating metalwork objects with coloured material separated by wire often made from precious metals. In the first instance the decoration is formed by creating a stencil on the metal object by affixing wires to the surface which will be visible once the product is finished allowing the artisan to craft beautiful scenes such as blossoming flowers or mythical animals by filling in the spaces with various colours. For further information please see our news article Cloisonne | A Japanese Masterpiece.

    Enamel (vitreous enamel) also known as porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word vitreous comes from the Latin vitreus, meaning “glassy”.

    Meiji Period was an era of Japanese history that spanned from 1868 to 1912. It was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people began to build a paradigm of a modern, industrialised nation state and emergent great power, influenced by Western countries and aesthetics. As a result of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound and it affected the social structure, politics, economy, military, and foreign relations across the board. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was preceded by the Keio era and was succeeded by the Taisho era.

    Cultural Art during the Meiji Period was of particular interest to the government and they overhauled the art export market which in turn promoted Japanese arts via various world’s fairs, beginning in Vienna at the world fair in 1873. The government heavily funded the fairs and took an active role organising how Japan’s culture was presented to the world including creating a semi-public company named Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha (First Industrial Manufacturing Company). The Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha was used to promote and commercialise exports of Japanese art and established the Hakurankai Jimukyoku (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works by select artists to be given as gifts for foreign dignitaries further emphasising the high quality and importance of Japanese art. Just before the end of the 19th century in 1890, the Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognise distinguished artists. These artists were selected for their exceptionally high quality wares and talent in their own industry. Over a period of 54 years Seventy artists were appointed, amongst these were ceramicist Makuzu Kozan and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki.

    Antique a collectable object such as a piece of furniture or work of art that has a high value because of its age and quality. Objects of this nature are generally considered antique at 100 plus years of age.

    Measurements 15.3cm High x 5.5cm Diameter (6 x 2.17 inches)

    Condition Excellent, no damage and no restoration. One small enamel pop from firing.

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