Pair of hibachi or hand-warming braziers in cylindrical form, ornamented on the
sides with gold pine trees and young saplings against a brilliant black ground.
Of black roiro mirror-polished lacquer with the pine trunks executed in
contrasting raised gold lacquers and in flake lacquers; the interior ash
containers of hammered and gilt copper. Taishō era, circa 1912 – 1926. |
Each with the tomobako or original storage box, the surface lacquered red and
inscribed on the exterior of the lid: Kuroji Matsu Maki-e Hibachi, Gotsui no
Uchi, Ittsui or Roiro Mirror-polished Black Ground (and) Raised Gold Lacquer
Pine (motif) Brazier,One Pair of Five ; and on the reverse of the lid signed:
Heian Kyōdō Zō or Made by Kyōdō of Kyoto.
These elegant and beautifully made braziers look to be the work of a lacquer
artist working in the circle of the Zōhiko family, whose commissioning house
sold not only their own lacquers but ordered work from other artists to sell
under their imprimatur. The Zōhiko lineage of lacquer artists worked in Kyoto
from 1719 to the present. Nishimura Zōhiko VIII was the 8th generation family
head, and acceded to the family title when he came of age in 1910, taking over
from his uncle, Zōhiko VII, who retired to become an independent artist. Zōhiko
VIII founded a school for maki-e lacquer in Kyoto, and was active in the
promotion of lacquer arts.
For another example of Zōhiko VIII’s work, c.f. Kagedo’s catalogue Yūkei, number
71, as well as Arts of Imperial Japan, number 30.
10 ¼” high x11 ¼” diameter, each.
Pine symbolized longevity and was often associated with the New Year’s