|Tray for the display
of an incense burner in the form of a large gourd leaf with branching
smaller leaves, curling vine stems and a gourd running off to one side.
Of carved kuwa or chestnut wood. By Ikeda Sakumi (Ikeda Sakumi,
the gō or art name of Ikeda Fumikichi, 1886 – 1955). Late Taishō
– early Shōwa era, circa 1920 – 1940.
With the tomobako or original box, inscribed on the exterior of the
lid: Kuwa Hyō-mon Kōro-dai or Chestnut Wood Gourd Motif Incense Burner
Stand; and on the reverse of the lid signed: Hishūdō Sakumi and sealed:
Ikeda Sakumi was born in Kaga. He studied under Takemura Eiraku in
Osaka and specialized in wood carvings. In 1928, he exhibited at the
government-sponsored art exhibitions for the first time with the 9th
Teiten, returning to the 13th Teiten in 1932 and the 14th in 1933.
One of the finest carvers of the early 20th century, Ikeda Sakumi
approached wood with a reverence for its natural beauty. This tray
gives full play to the satiny texture and rippling grain of the wood.
The lines are elegant and curving. Naturalistic details remain stylized
and minimal, framing the expanse of the wood in beautiful balance.
For other examples of Sakumi’s work, c.f. Kagedo’s
catalogue Awaiting the Moon, numbers 132 and 136, and Blue Wind, number
29. The tray in Blue Wind is a larger study of a gourd and gourd leaf
theme, and makes an interesting comparison to this piece.
1 ¼” high x 21 ¼” long x 15 3/8” wide.