A mixed material jar and cover. The body carved from ebony, front and reverse carved with cloud border reserves inlaid in stag-antler with bats flying towards a tama inlaid with boxwood. The handles are the heads of elephants, tongues inlaid in stag-antler, eyes inlaid in stag-antler and ebony. The convex lid turned with graduating circles terminating at its peak with a circular panel gently etched to imitate stone. Surmounted with a stylised elephant finial, inlaid with a stag-antler apron and wings. Eyes inlaid in stag-antler and ebony.
Like our other Japanese-Asakusa containers the original inspiration derives from China, particularly from the jade bowl and cover. On a recent trip to the Baur Museum in Geneva, their collection includes superlative stone examples of Chinese vessels. Clearly precursors to the Japanese equivalent, the Asakusa workshops interpreted these much older foreign wares with wonderment and reverence.
Signed: Ichiryusai, on a stag-antler panel.
Asakusa, Last quarter of the 19th Century.