An impressive Komai cigars case, Meiji period.
Nunomezogan, silver and gold on iron.
Rich decor of birds, flowers and landscapes in reserves.
Inside, on the left side, a dedicace in Spanish dated 1908 Kyoto, made in gold inlay (kinsujizogan) later enamel cedicace on the right side.
Gold mark of Komai Seibei.
17,5 x 13,8 x 1cm when open.
The Komai Company was supposedly founded in 1841, but it was only when Komai Otojiro I became head, in 1865, that the company began to make the wares for which they were to become so famous. The workshop, under the leadership of Komai Otojiro (father and son) specialised in intricate inlaid work of gold and silver into iron. The technique favoured by the workshop was kinsujizogan the inlay of strips of gold or silver into graved lines on the iron body; later they were to use nunomezogan which involves the inlay of thin sheets of gold or silver onto a roughened ground. In a promotional brochure of about 1915, Komai Otojiro II (Otojiro I retired in 1906) called his workshop the ‘pioneer of damascene work’ and describes the process of the lacquering of the characteristic black ground, which required some forty firings in the kiln and subsequent burnishing. Using these techniques, the Komai style passed through approximately the same evolutionary sequences as did the styles used by other branches of Meiji decorative art; elaborated overall pattern-making moved into elaborate borders surrounding an increasingly pictorial central motif. Most of these central motifs illustrate stories from Japanese history or mythology. The Komai family retains a number of design books in which can be found drawings for many of their works. In spite of their great popularity, the name Komai is rarely found in the lists of exhibitors in the great World Fairs, because the company exhibited under the name of the commissioning company Ikeda. These commissioners would exhibit the work of a number of companies and it would be they who also received many awards and prizes. The Ikeda company are recorded receiving many such prizes, some of which were certainly for work produced by Komai. A list of some of Komai’s many awards from both national and international exhibitions is recorded in their promotional brochure. For further details concerning Komai see Malcolm Fairley, Victor Harris and Oliver Impey, Meiji no Takara, Treasures of Imperial Japan, Metalwork Part I (London, 1995).
Delevery information :
A special care is given to packing. Bigest pieces are crated.
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60 000 €