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Set of three identical keman, made of gilt bronze. Decorative hangings from a Buddhist temple, possible from a Shinto shrine. Fan-shaped with a design of two pairs of family crests set between karakusa (winding weeds). The knotted cord around the family crest in the center in gilt bronze repoussé. The openwork design is very carefully executed, the details engraved, backgrounds decorated in nanako. From the lower half of each of the frames three solid brass balls are suspended (originally five balls each), in imitation of bells. The chrysanthemum crests could point to the imperial family, the second set of crests show the chrysanthemum with a double plum blossom in the center. Although not identified, it indicates that the family was in a closer relation with the imperial family. The keman were probably hanging in their family temple. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Height 10 ¾ in. (27.8 cm); width 14 in. (35.6 cm). Height incl. ring and balls 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Some of the eyelets from which the balls were dangling broken and two balls per keman missing (one ball separately), gilding rubbed (on the reverse the gilding is better preserved than on the front), otherwise excellent condition.