Dish, unsigned

Dish, unsigned

Dish
Unsigned
Nagoya, Japan
c.1865-1870
Diameter 54.1cm
Museum no. 326-1872

In 1872 and 1875 the Museum purchased two dishes; this first dish cost £50 from a Berlin-based dealer. It is decorated in brass wires on a ground of stylised floral and geometrical motifs with the main design consisting of two dragons fighting for the sacred Buddhist pearl of wisdom. The underside of the dish has panels of birds against a similar ground. Although unsigned, the cloisonné artist Ando Jubei, on the occasion of his visit to the V&A in 1910, declared that the piece had been made by Kaji Sataro, son of Kaji Tsunekichi, the man responsible for the renaissance of cloisonné making in Japan around 1840. The dish certainly bears all the characteristics of having been made around that period, and may explain its relatively high cost.