Itaya Koji (Japan). tray. about 1975-85. lacquer and mother-of pearl on wood. Florence and Ralph Burgess Trust. 2012.268.
height: 24 7/8 in, 63.1825 cm; width: 30.75 in, 78.1050 cm; depth: 3.25 in, 8.2550 cm
Plaque with Persian Cat and Bumblebee
by Itaya Koji, (b. 1925)
about 1975-85, Showa period
Lacquer and mother-of-pearl on wood
Funds from the Florence and Ralph Burgess Trust
Itaya Koji was born in Wajima, a major lacquer-making center. He specialized in engraved lacquer (chinkin), a technique that involved etching very fine lines on a mirror-black ground and filling the engraved lines with gold or silver. He used this painstaking technique to capture the texture of cat fur and to create a sense of lifelike volume. On this plaque, gold and mother-of-pearl inlay (raden) were used to depict the cat's eyes, claws, and the bumblebee.
At least 2011-2012, Kaigedo Japanese Art, Seattle WA, acquired at auction in Japan; 2012, DAM collection, museum purchase.
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