Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Japanese Lacquer Sake Cup with Takamakie Dragon, Meiji

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1920: item # 1186197

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

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Japanese Lacquer Sake Cup with Takamakie Dragon, Meiji

This delicate Japanese sake cup (“sakazuki”) is decorated with a dragon in high relief in varied shades of gold and silver lacquer on a red lacquer ground. Meiji period (1868-1912). The dragon, created in takamakie (raised lacquer) emerges from rough swirling waves done in both takamakie and hiramakie (flat lacquer). Details such as his piercing eyes, whiskers, beard and claws are finely rendered in low relief. There are stylized clouds and prunus branches and blossoms in the sky above the dragon finished in takamakie, hiramakie and kirigane (cut gold foil) inlays. The reverse is plain red lacquer with a gilded foot ring.

In Japan the dragon is often associated with Buddhism. Depending on the context, dragons are teamed with a variety of motifs, including flowers and other animals. However, the most common design pairings are with stylized could or wave motifs, reflecting the animal’s association with both the sky and the ocean, both of which are represented in this cup.

CONDITION is very good, although there is wear to relief silver waves.

DIMENSIONS: 3 3/8” (8.6 cm) diameter, ¾” (2 cm) high.

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