Unsigned (attrib. Seizaburo Goto of Honcho-dori)
Museum no. 237-1881
The first acquisition by an identified maker of Japanese cloisonné enamel is this small dish acquired in 1881. From the style of decoration at first sight this object might well be described as Nagoya work, but V&A records state that this dish (purchased from Okura & Co. of Fenchurch Street London for the sum of £11.5s.0d) was made in Yokohama.
The wires are all brass and the central panel with a black ground depicts a samurai in full armour, with sword, bow and war-fan, seated on a tiger-skin. The armour is of the medieval type which was briefly revived for ceremonial use in the early nineteenth century. The warrior is surrounded by panels of geometric diaper patterns in polychrome enamels. The back of the dish has a rich blue ground decorated with brass wire scrolls and stylised flowers. The inner foot is decorated with three butterflies in Nagoya-style polychrome enamels. The rim and foot ring are both of gilded copper.