Japanese Komai Style Damascene Box Yoshitoyo


Signed Yoshitoyo saku 美豊作

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    Japanese Komai Style Damascene

    From our Japanese collection, we are pleased to offer this Japanese Komai Style Damascene Box Yoshitoyo. The Komai Style Box of circular form having a black ground with striking gold coloured accents in the form of a Kogo. The top of the box features two robed figures stood above a broom. The base of the Komai Style box is signed Yoshitoyo saku 美豊作 who owned the Fujii Damascene Co. The interior of the box is finished in the base brass metal with a highly reflective surface. The Damascene Komai Style Box dates to the turn of the 20th century during the Meiji Period 1868-1912 circa 1900.

    Kogo is regarded as an incense box used in Japanese tea ceremony.

    Fujii Yoshitoyo was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1868. Fourth generation metal worker of first rank. He devoted himself to learning about the damascene art and developing the already known techniques used by his family. He left home and moved to Tokyo to develop further and at the age of 35 in 1902 he obtained a patent for his new techniques from the imperial government. In 1909 a second patent was granted to him, he continued to develop his skills and was awarded multiple first class medals throughout his exhibitions and was fortunate enough to sell directly to the imperial household. At its highest point the Fujii factory employer over 200 people mainly exporting sought after objects to Europe and America. During this time he also had his works represented by the Mitsukoshi company. Unlike Komai who use the Zogan (inlay) technique Fujii uses mostly an etching technique on his works.

    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.

    Measurements 4cm High x 11cm Wide x 8cm Deep (1.57 x 4.3 x 3.15 Inches)

    Condition Very Good-Excellent

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