Japanese Komai Style Dish Abe Shoten

Damascene Gold and Silver Inlay 

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    Signed Abe Shoten

    From our Japanese collection, we are pleased to offer this Japanese Komai Style Dish by Abe Shoten. The Dish composed of iron is in the Komai style using the damascene inlay technique. The dish is decorated with a landscape scene worked in gold and silver nunomezogan on a matt black ground with a village scene and Mount Fuji rising through in the distance. Two figures walk towards the village with one upon horse back. Signed to the rear in both Kanji 惠 and script 長崎住安部作 Abe of Nagasaki for Abe Shoten. The Japanese Komai Style Dish dates to the late 19th century during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1890.

    Abe Shoten was a manufacturer of damascene, tortoise-shell and lacquer wares from Nagasaki, Abe’s works are usually signed in a framed kanji 惠 or much less common together with a rectangle boarder like this plate, 長崎住安部作 made by Abe from Nagasaki, Japan. The damascene works of art are often confused with very similar works by Komai as they are both in the same style however the signature to the rear will determine the artist.

    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 1.5cm High x 15.2cm Diameter ( 0.6 x 6 Inches)

    Condition Very Good Antique Condition

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