Japanese Lacquer Prize Medal in Box by Wada Sanzo
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All Items: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1950: item # 773851
Please refer to our stock # b3239 when inquiring.
Brian Page Antiques
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A Rare & Unusual Lacquer Prize Medal by Wada Sanzo 1883-1967
Max. diam of medal 5 1/4 ins. (13.3 cms) Box 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 ins. The inside of the lid has the inscription Kanshitsu Shohai (Lacquer Award) and was given as a prize in a competition organised by the Nippon Fukuso Kisei Kenkyu Kai (Japanese Fashion Research Society) in Showa 17 (1942). The medal is "kanshitsu" (solid lacquer) and is moulded with a goddess-like person (Benten ?) holding a spool of thread. The name Wada Sanzo is incised on the design and is part of the box inscription. Sanzo was a celebrated Western-style painter and print maker who studied under Kuroda Seiki. He graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Art in 1904 and studied in Europe in 1909 returning to Japanese via India and the South Seas in 1916. In his youth he was famous for large and romantic Western-style oil paintings which caused a stir at major exhibitions and are still exhibited in the major Japanese museums. Presumably by this date, 1942, he had fallen on hard times, like many artists and craftsmen, and had to accept commissions as and where he could. The iconography of the design harks back to late Meiji art. The reverse of the medal has more or less the same details in gold lacquer as is written inside the lid. It is in excellent condition with no damage and no repairs. Included is a printed pamphlet with a list of the prize winners. As can be seen from the photos there is some worming of the green silk inside the box.
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