My Gallery - Japonisme Style Naturalistic Silverware

Chrysanthemum Flower Shape Bon-bon spoons by Japanese silversmith

These silver bon-bon spoons were made by Japanese silversmith as export products for the US market in 1880s - Meiji period. Applied techniques are clearly distinguished from contemporary silversmiths in Europe or US.
The motief of the design is Chrysanthemum, the bowl is designed as a flower, the stem is decorated with a bud and leaves. ShoamApplied design and technique seemed to be very close to works of Katsuyoshi Shoami 正阿弥勝義(1832-1908), a highly accomplished metalworker in Meiji period..



Cased Hizen pattern sugar spoon by Gorham

Hizen pattern sugar spoon with shell shaped bowl lightly gold washed made by Gorham and the original presentation case in 1880s.
"Hizen", 肥前 in Japanese, means the former old province of Japan of which area is split into Saga 佐賀 and Nagasaki 長崎 prefectures today. And Hirado 平戸, the only habour admitted to trade with foreign countries during Edo period (1639-1858), was located in Hizen.
Hizen pattern was eraborated probably by Japanese silversmiths, along with "Japanese" and "Narragansett" patterns of Gorham in this period because the applied techniques on this item are clearly distinguished from European or American silversmiths. And one of them might have close relationship with Hizen district, I think.




Gorham Five O'clock teaspoons

GorhamFive O'clock Tea Spoons (c.1885) each in a different design including both naturalistic sea life and aesthetic motifs. The naturalistic designs are very close to Narragansett pattern. The spoons are uniquely numbered 1-12; the numbering is mostly different from the numbers used in the two pages illustrating in Anton Hardt Souvenir Spoons of the 90's (New York: Anton Hardt, 1962) which was re-printed from George B. James Souvenir Spoons Containing Descriptions and Illustrations of the Principal Designs Produced in the United States. (Boston: A. W. Fuller & Co., 1891).




Naragansett pattern Salt

Naragansett patternshell-shaped small dish by Gorham in mid-1880s.



"Hagi-e" Pattern Sugar Spoon by Frank Whiting Co. circa 1885

This sterling silver sugar spoon in a Japanese Naturalistic style pattern called "Hagi-e" manufactured by the Frank Whiting Co. firstly launched in 1885.

The front of the Sugar spoons handle has beautifully done Japanese Naturalistic leaf and floral design. The Bowl of the spoon is made like a large leaf with the leave veins running through the bowl. The edge of the bowl is scalloped.
The sugar spoon is just about 6" in length and it weighs .72 troy ozs. The back of the sugar spoons handle has a beautiful set of script initials and the date 1889. The hallmarking of the manufacturer, the word sterling, the number 3 and the name of the retailer who sold the spoon is also on the back.




Japanese Komai Style Small Vase by Sakurai, circa 1880

This is the typical Komai style iron vase with gold and silver textured inlay drawing a country village with Mt. Fuji and a magpie.
Komai Otojiro 駒井音次郎 (1842-1917) and his workshop produced works displaying the renowned textured inlay in gold and silver. At the age of thirteen, Komai Otojiro had the opportunity to study inlay techniques with Misaki Shusuke 三崎周助, a sword-fitting artisan from Higo 肥後. Otojiro produced sword fittings up until the 1876 prohibition against wearing swords, but in 1873 he had already begun to produce decorative objects aimed at the export market. Komai Otojiro's delicate and highly detailed work was very well received abroad, and other artisans in Kyoto began to produce similar objects.
The maker of this vase, Sakurai 桜井, is not known in details however he was possibly an artist in Komai workshop. This work clearly shows his distinguished techniques to produce the textured inlay art.


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