Signed: 'Made by Kawaguchi of Tokyo City, Great Japan'
Patinated, gilt and inlaid iron
The Edwin and Susan Davies Collection
The decorative vessel in the form of an incense burner combines many aspects of the Japanese metalworkers' superb skills. The pedestal has similarities to the inlaid metalwork of Komai of Kyoto; the main body is decorated with chrysanthemums in the style of lacquerwork and the lid has two silver sculpted cranes. Each side of the vessel has finely detailed panels by different artists. The panel visible in the photograph shows a noblewoman of the tenth century, possibly the renowned author Sei Shonagon, closing the blinds on her veranda against a sudden snow flurry.
An image showing the side panel in more detail is available here