Antique Japanese Meiji Period Iron Box


Fishing Heron Wading in Water

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    Meiji Period (1868-1912)

    From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this Antique Japanese Meiji Period Iron Box. The Box of slim rectangular form cast in iron and raised upon four tapered feet features a silver and enamel scene to the front with a silver cast Japanese Heron wading through water amongst green enamelled foliage and blossoming flowers. Beside the front scene to the lid an indistinctive two character mark possibly 白代 Hakudai and kao 立 identifies the maker of the box. When opened the box reveals a silver lining with katakiribori (engraving with an angled chisel emulating brushstrokes) decoration with a boat upon a river with multiple birds in front of a mountain signed 義明 Yoshiaki. The Box dates to the late 19th century during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1890.

    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.

    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”.

    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 3.5cm High x 12cm Long x 8.5cm Wide ( 1.4 x 4.7 x 3.35 inches)

    Condition Excellent, minor use wear only.

    With every purchase from Jacksons Antique, you will receive our latest product guide, full tracking information so you can monitor your shipment from start to finish and our personal no-hassle, money-back policy giving you that extra confidence when purchasing.

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