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SHAKUDO Japanese Signet Ring for Member of Warrior Class

SHAKUDO Japanese Signet Ring for Member of Warrior Class

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Continental: Pre 1900: Item # 1450542
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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An ancient Japanese art form, Shakudo developed from the Samurai tradition of sword making, whereupon the Japanese were prohibited from the craft of sword making and were needed to find new markets for their skills. Thanks to Commodore Perry who opened up the western markets to the isolated Japanese, the western world embraced these charming, asymmetric aesthetic period designs. This new jewelry form helped to establish a new artistic form of decorative arts during this period known as the Aesthetic period, defined by asymmetric, simple and charming images inspired by the natural world and very much a rejection of the rigid symmetrical Neoclassicism. The raised details on our ring show traditional Japanese Samurai objects including a hand fan of mixed metals, a sword, and tassels. Japanese hand fans were tools of both the aristocratic and samurai class and were a way to signify social standing, while swords were the weapons of the Samurai warrior class. This ring was clearly created as a ring and not as something else, as shown by the craftsmanship of the band (see photos), whereby the band is solidly threaded into the face. This could only have been done in the ring's initial construction; the face could not have been applied later, (as is often seen with Shakudo "rings" - oftentimes they started out as brooches or pendants and were made into rings later to make them more sale-able). If you are entranced as we are by the art and objects of the Aesthetic, this is the ring for you.