From our Japanese collection, we are thrilled to offer this Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Koro by Tsukamoto Hikokichi. The Koro of exceptional quality shaped in bulbous squat form with three looped handles and removable lid raised on three tapered feet. The Koro with a sky blue ground decorated extensively with Ho-o birds to the lid, alternating ginbari panels with twin Ho-o birds and a geometric border with scrolling black enamel lines and silver wire inlay. The feet decorated with scrolling black enamel finished with brass pins to protect the enamel on the surface. The centre of the base is inlaid with the makers signature within a red cartouche for Tsukamoto Hikokichi. The Koro dates to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1910.
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.
Ginbari is a type of cloisonne with clear enamel over a stippled silver layer applied to the copper sheet body.
Ho-o represents fire, the sun, and the imperial family. It also stands for the virtues of duty, propriety, faith, and mercy. Its five colors represent the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Ho-o came from Chinese mythology, where they are known as fenghuang.
Measurements 10cm High x 9cm Diameter (3.94 x 3.54 x 3.54 Inches)
Condition Excellent condition no damage, no restoration.
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