|Tobacco box in a
rectangular form, the lid ornamented with an abstract motif of
cross-sections of bundled electrical wires. Of silver, the lid inlaid
with a shibuichi plaque, itself decorated with hira-zōgan or flush
inlay in gold, pink gold and silver. With a chiseled inscription on the
reverse: Yokohama Densen Seizō Kabushiki Gaisha or Yokohama Electrical
Wire Manufacturing Company, and dated: Sōritsu 20-shūnen or The 20th
Anniversary of the Company’s Founding, and with the engraved logo
of the company. Taishō 5 or 1916.
This box was made as a commemorative gift on the 20th anniversary of
the founding of the Yokohama Electrical Wire Manufacturing Company
(founded in 1896, so the presentation box was made in 1916). Today the
firm is Furukawa Denki Kōgyō Kabushiki Gaisha or Furukawa Electric
Industry Company. Though unsigned, the workmanship is obviously that of
a highly skilled metal inlay artist, who likely worked in Tokyo. With
its stunning design, this metalwork speaks of the romance that
electricity and technology held as Japan entered the modern world.
1 ¾” high x 5 3/8” wide x 4” deep.