Japanese Three Wise Monkeys Box Komyo 光明


Three Wise Monkeys

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    Silver & Enamel

    From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this Japanese Three Wise Monkeys Box by Komyo 光明. The Silver box of rectangular form with rounded corners features the Three Wise Monkeys to the front, see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. The monkeys cast beautifully with naturalistic features wearing humorous enamelled haori (羽織). The box is covered with katakiribori (engraving with an angled chisel emulating brushstrokes) of persimmon plants. Signed to one side Komyo 光明 who worked for Uyeda, the box dates to the later half of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) Circa 1910.

    K. Uyeda shop (Uyeda Shoten, 植田商店) was founded in 1884 by Uyeda Kichigoro (植田吉五郎). It is one of the oldest established Japanese silversmiths that is still continues business today. Initially, satsuma ware vases and plates were the main products, but gradually the number of silver tableware and items of an everyday use that were popular among foreigners increased. In early 1930s the business was inherited by the Kichigoro’s sons, the elder Uyeda Fujiro (植田富士朗) and the younger Uyeda Yoshimi (植田義巳). Some of the high profile customers Uyeda obtained included American baseball players Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, actress Marilyn Monroe, diplomat Henry Kissinger with his wife, professor and American diplomat Edwin Reischauer with his wife, and others.

    While being mostly associated with the silver tableware and items of everyday usage during pre-WWII and just after the WWII period around late 1950s, the company began to focus more on the cultured pearl jewellery . In 1973 Kichigoro’s grandson, Uyeda Shintaro (植田新太郎), introduced the Italian jewelry, uncommon in Japan at the time, into the company’s product list. Around 1980s the company was entirely focused on selling pearls and jewelry, eventually changing the “K. Uyeda” name to “Uyeda Jeweller”.

    The company is in operation till today, located at the Imperial Hotel Arcade, Tokyo. It is managed by the Kichigoro’s great-grandson, Tomohiro Uyeda (植田友宏), and produces and sells jewelry made of pearls, precious metals and stones.

    Measurements 8.5cm Long x 6cm Wide x 3cm Deep (3.35 x 2.36  x 1.18 Inches)

    Condition Very Good, usage and wear marks consistent with age.

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