POLISHED TO PERFECTION: Japanese Cloisonne


POLISHED TO PERFECTION: Japanese Cloisonne

ROBERT SINGER    Book Number: 91733    Product format: Hardback

Namikawa Yasuyuki was an undisputed master of cloisonné. He would sit his guests in the estate's main reception room and the first thing he would do would show them a 'process set' of six samples demonstrating the various stages of cloisonné making. First, the brushing of contour lines in ink on the copper core, then the application of sculptured wires to the core, the filling in of ground coloured glass between these wires, the firing of the piece in remarkably primitive kilns, the repetition of these stages over and over, and then the protracted process of 14 stages of polishing. The 14 polishing stones were separated into individual tiered compartments arranged from roughest number one to smoothest number 14 and so marked in Arabic numerals. Namikawa would show his guests a vessel with a phoenix design. The enamel colours are primarily blue and green, the wires thick and uneven, and the surface mottled and pitted, producing the overall effect of a folk-art object, charming in its roughness and simplicity of form and design. He employed a painter named Nakahari Tessen (1864-1942) to paint the designs such as Bugaku Dancers in full costume. The plates in this volume are quite splendid: vases with designs of lobster and goldfish, peapods, bamboo and chrysanthemums, wisteria and egrets, dragons amid clouds, praying mantis amid foliage, plum blossoms in a landscape, peacocks and birds and butterflies and dragonflies, stylised landscapes, the moon and clouds, flying cranes or ducks, a quail, butterfly and fiddlehead ferns, a pair of doves, a crow on a branch and more. This magnificent publication is a museum exhibition catalogue from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the collection of Donald K. Gerber and his partner Sueann Sherry. This elaborate type of enamelware whose beauty and detail astonish those who encounter it, we learn that the surviving pieces command staggering prices at auction. If wabi-sabi works comprise one pole of Japanese aesthetics, the opposite or complimentary pole consists of objects described in Japanese as pretty, perfect and polished. 144 very large pages, the majority given to the hundred plus full page colour photographs of the collectable objects themselves. A rare find.
Published price: £39.99
Bibliophile price: £21.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9783791356143
Browse these categories as well: Collectables/Antiques, Art & Architecture

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