Japan, early Meiji period (1868-1912)

The elegant body of the vase is applied with a massive, layered and craggy bronze rock, traversed by branches of silvered and gilt cherry blossoms, on which a majestic eagle has just landed. Below we find two sparrows, neatly inlaid in silver, gold, shakudo and shibuichi. The feathers of the eagle are cleverly incised to create a dramatic movement, his claws with punched details and gilt. The eyes and talons are finely inlaid in shakudo.

Condition: Superb condition with some old wear, a fine naturally grown chocolate-brown patina overall, minor traces of wear and shallow surface scratches, small casting flaws. Faint traces of verdigris to bronze rock.
Provenance: Property from a collection in the United Kingdom.

HEIGHT 68.5 cm
WEIGHT 21.6 kg

In this remarkable portrayal of an eagle’s fierce spirit, the artist distilled the soul of the Japanese nation in the second half of the 19th century, which was - at the onset of westernization - exerting itself as an international power. In addition to his regal presence, the ‘king of the skies’ represents unhesitating, even ruthless action, an indispensable quality during these turbulent times. Determined to break the mold of traditional East Asian sculpture, the artist augmented the vivacity of his subject with youthful audacity, dramatically varying contrasts of light and dark within the plumage. With an increased degree of realism, almost brutal naturalism, the final abandonment of the classical Edo aesthetic becomes apparent in this masterpiece of Japanese metalwork.

Auction comparison:
Compare the manner of the eagle to a silvered bronze okimono of an eagle by Masatsune sold by Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, 5 November 2020, London, lot 288 (sold for 11,312 GBP).

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Estimate 7 500 - 15 000 EUR

* Not including buyer’s premium.
Please read the conditions of sale for more information.

Sale fees: 26.4 %
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For sale on Friday 03 Dec - 13:00 (CET)
vienna, Austria
Galerie Zacke
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