Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Japanese Makie Lacquer Sake Container Meiji

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All Items: Archives:Regional Art:Asian:Japanese: Pre 1920: item # 1131295

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418

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Japanese Makie Lacquer Sake Container Meiji
This most unusual oval Japanese sake container is decorated in gold hiramakie (flat lacquer) on a rich deep brown lacquer ground with the motif of chidori and waves. Meiji period (1868-1912). The rough swirling waves are meticulously hand painted in gold hiramakie lacquer. Such extensive and freely executed representations of high waves, foam and spray are known as “araumi” (rough sea) motifs. Flying over and skimming along the waves are stylized plovers also painted in gold hiramakie lacquer. Likely once part of an elaborate lacquer picnic set, this sake container has a cylindrical copper mokku style handle and spout fittings that appear to be either shakudo (an alloy of gold and copper) or tarnished silver. The spout plate and cover were cast in the shape of a chidori to complement the lacquer motif that surrounds the body of the flask.

The word “chidori” – usually translated as plover – refers to several migratory shorebirds that transit Japan in spring and autumn. Chidori in flight have been a favored theme of art and poetry for more than a thousand years. Portrayed in large numbers and in a highly stylized manner, these little birds are usually portrayed soaring just above and intermingled with the spray of angry waves and in this situation are symbolic of the struggle to keep above the storms and strife of life. Because the bird overcomes high waves and strong winds to migrate, it is seen as an emblem of perseverance and the conquering of obstacles.

CONDITION overall is excellent, with only a few tiny rim dents consistent with age and usage.

DIMENSIONS: 5 ¾” (14.7 cm) x 4” (10.2 cm) x 4 ½” (11.5 cm) high.

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