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pipe case addition

A place to discuss and share other forms of sagemono such as Inro, Pipe Cases etc
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Re: pipe case addition

Postby TSB » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:18 pm

Hi Reinhard, the only thought that I had with this signature is, that it reads also Koshin, only with writing the kanji „shin“ in a different style. I know the different writing of „shin“ from Shibata Zeshin and could read the same explanation in the Wrangham Index on page 150 (Koshin).

Hope that helps ;)
Kind Regards Thomas

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Re: pipe case addition

Postby lohrberg » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:11 pm

I wanted to continue with Lacquer,


preparing Asia Week, I see the offer of another London dealer with a pipecase in a set with a pouch by the famous Meiji artist NOHARA TEIMEI, whose alternativ reading is NOHARA SADAAKI (1868 - 1912).

For the first time I saw art works of TEIMEI in the Collection of the Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum/Kyoto. Part of the museum's collection of this exhibition was published in ROKUSHO Magazine Volume 36 in March 2008. A Teimei pipecase is illustrated on page 10, another on page 26, where the artist is described as follows:

Nohara Sadaaki studied under Ishikawa Komei, but his style seems close to that of Asahi Gyokuzan. His works were few and rarely come onto the market. One of the phantom craftmen.

In 2014 the Ginza located Gallery Chikuryudo hold an exhibition of Meiji Art Masters, specialised on inlay works. About 10 of Teimei's works came on display.

The Mitsui Memorial Museum in Tokyo runs an exhibition since September 16th till December 3rd this year. Title: Amazing Craftsmanship From Meiji Kogei to Contemporary Art I was lucky enough to visit.
A large writing box, decorated with vegetables, by Teimei can be seen there. Forum readers take the train to Tokyo as fast as you can.

I would like to show here a typical pipecase by Teimei. Frog hanging from a branch of a weeping willow. Decorated in inlay of carved and stained ivory, eyes of shell,


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Re: pipe case addition

Postby mss » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:33 pm

Lovely case, Reinhard.

There is an inlaid box by Nobara Teimei, dates given 1858-1924, which I assume was by the same artist you list as Nohara Teimei, offered at Bonham's auction of May 12, 2016, lot 595. Image attached.
Their commentary:
"Few signed works by Nobara Teimei are known, but for a miniature double-sided six-panel screen by Nobara Teimei that won a Hojo Itto (First-Class Honourable Mention) at the 1899 spring exhibition of the Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai (Japan Art Association), see Fujisawa Shigeru 藤 澤繁, Chogan 彫嵌 (Carving and Inlay), Tokyo, Gallery Chikuryudo ャ ラリー竹柳堂, 2014, cat. no.1; smaller pieces by Teimei are illustrated in the same catalogue, nos.7, 10, 9 and 10, and a few of his works are preserved in The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts. Teimei studied the art of ivory carving and inlay with Nakayama Teimin, a master of Shibayama work (see lots 288 and 647), and as the form
of the red-lacquer signature and his use of the character mei for his art-name would suggest, he was also a pupil of the famous late-Meiji ivory-carver Ishikawa Komei (1852-1913), writing a reminiscence of his master in 1917 (see Nobara Teimei, ‘Ishikawa-o tsuioku (Reminiscences of Master Ishikawa)’, Bijutsu, 1.7 (May 1917): 26–29, at p.28, quoted in Martha Chaiklin, “Politicking Art: Ishikawa Komei and the Development of Meiji Sculpture”, East Asian History, 39 (December 2014, accessible at"

According to Bonham's, he was a pupil of Nakayama Teimin, who was born near the Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa district of Edo, worked with his father as a busshi (sculptor specializing in Buddhist images). He later became a specialist in the multimedia inlay technique referred to today as Shibayama work and from 1869 onwards worked for Ozeki, a trading company specialising in craft items for export. His works were exhibited at the Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai (National Industrial Exhibitions).1
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Re: pipe case addition

Postby lohrberg » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:17 pm

Thank you Milton to come up with this reminder of the May 2016 Bonhams Sale in London. I was in the sales room, but overlooked lot 595 the small box by Teimei measuring 11 x 13,5 x 4,3 cm.

Sold for 35,000 GBP (hammer) plus premium etc,
oh, well,


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Re: pipe case addition

Postby lohrberg » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 pm

No reply on my last post means, I have to do it myself

We discussed Zeshin and his offsprings. I think it is worth to move to Ikeda Taishin, who worked with Zeshin in the same workshop under the same roof.

This pipecase has the design of Yam Leaves. Both parts with dark ishime ground, rim of silver, the loop of gold metal, decorated in shades of gold, brown and black hiramakie with the leafy tendrils of a yam plant clinging to a wide band of split bamboo wrapping around the rim and top.
For the lovers of ivory, stag, wood pipecases. Do not ignore lacquer please. I will bother you with some more in the future,


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Re: pipe case addition

Postby carlomagno » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:10 pm

IMHO ivory is a perfect material to express and enhance physical properties like muscles stress or flowing movements particularly in Netsuke carving. Who can not but enjoy being bombarded with another aspect of Japan art as is lacker?
Nec spe nec metu

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Re: pipe case addition

Postby AFNetsuke » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:35 am

Reinhardt, feel free to bombard us all you like with exquisite pipe cases. I'm only sorry I have nothing similar to offer here.

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Re: pipe case addition

Postby chonchon » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:26 am

Agreed. All I can do is observe and admire. Many thanks for posting! 8-)

Size is something.

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Re: pipe case addition

Postby dougsanders » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:35 pm

Thanks for the link to the Ishikawa Komei article!

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Re: pipe case addition

Postby lohrberg » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:15 pm


continuing with Ikeda Taishin I want to introduce the Oku No Hosomichi. This is the title of Basho's work of a collection of poems. The title translates as The Narrow Roads to the Deep North.
When Basho's work came to general notice, the topic was chosen by arttists of various kinds of art, painters, carvers, lacquerers etc.
Part of the design are insignia in connection with walking and travelling. One part, may be the most important is the OIZURU, which is a priest's travelling bag, a buddhist image for travelling.
The traveller had to rest on his track. The rest and recreation (R&R) is mostly shown by the oizuru sitting on the ground surrounded by vine leafes. Sometimes we see the walking stick and a large hat. The person itself is not shown. The design tells, there is a resting wanderer. No need to show him. Pars pro toto, so to say.

On Taishin's pipecase we have the ishime ground the beautiful oizuru with all details and aogai on top, vines around, lacquer and inlays,


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