Japanese antique lacquerware tray in gold and cinnabar on black, bird and bamboo on rocks. a beautiful 18-inch platter, 3 inches tall. Meiji period in excellent condition for age mild surface scratches no chips or cracks. A scattering of bamboo leaves the 'Chiku in Sho Chiku Bai' surrounding the plate that symbolizes strength, determination and tenacity.
Japanese large antique lacquerware decorative or serving platter. Handmade and hand-carved in a near-perfect round shape and nicely shaped double raised foot on the bottom. According to one of my trusted sellers, it dates to the 19th portion of the Meiji period of 1868-1912, it is unmarked with a makers name. (1868-1890 either marked with Japanese characters or unmarked).
The portions of the hand-carved color lacquered decoration are done very nicely in low relief- What I thought was a hawk is probably a condur per my friend sits gripping his large claes inro tock
Japanese lacquerware has a long history, back as far as the Jōmon period, because of decorative value and the quality as protective finish. Initially lacquer was used to enhance properties of utilitarian objects such as watertight drinking vessels, cooking and household goods. The oldest extant decorated item dates to the 6th century; in the medieval and early modern period lacquer was used in the manufacture of many products such as toiletry boxes, inkstone cases, eating utensils, plates, bowls, containers, furniture, saddles, stirrups or armour.
Lacquerware is produced in a three-step process: first the base is prepared. Most often the base consists of wood, but it can also be of paper or leather. Next is the application of lacquer, which hardens while drying, thereby sealing the base. Generally several layers of lacquer are applied. The lacquer is then decorated with a variety of methods. In the maki-e technique, a powdered metal -usually gold or silver, is sprinkled on the lacquer before completely hardened. This technique was developed and popular in the Heian period but continued to be used with refinements into the early modern period. Over the next centuries various other methods that employ precious metals were developed, In the case of this piece, it employees the following methods the best we can tell. There are so very many.
沈金彫 - gold-inlaid lacquerware
辰砂 - cinnabar lacquer; cinnabar lacquerware
Another and most common one we bought from this same seller: A few examples of traditional techniques follow:
Iro-urushi 色漆 literally 'color lacquer', was created by adding pigments to clear lacquer. The limits of natural pigments allowed only five colors -red, black, yellow, green and brown- to be used up until the 19th century, when various innovations appeared, along with the later introduction of Western artificial pigments.
Maki-e 蒔絵, literally: sprinkled picture is Japanese lacquer sprinkled with gold or silver powder as a decoration using a makizutsu or a kebo brush. The technique was developed mainly in the Heian Period 794–1185 and blossomed in the Edo Period 1603–1868. Maki-e objects were initially designed as household items for court nobles; they soon gained more popularity and were adopted by royal families and military leaders as a symbol of power. To create different colours and textures, maki-e artists use a variety of metal powders including gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, aluminum, platinum, and pewter, as well as their alloys. Bamboo tubes and soft brushes of various sizes are used for laying powders and drawing fine lines.
As it requires highly skilled craftsmanship to produce a maki-e painting, young artists usually go through many years of training to develop the skills and to ultimately become maki-e masters.
A few examples of traditional techniques follow:
As with most traditional arts, variations emerged over time as individual centers of production developed their own unique techniques and styles.
Most similar to beautiful Wajima lacquerware produced in the small port city of 輪島市 Wajima-shi in Ishikawa prefecture has gained worldwide recognition for its beauty and durability. Urushi lacquerware has been produced here since the 16th century, and even now over half of the population of Wajima is involved in its urushi trade. Of all the urushi producing areas in Japan, only the town of Wajima has been officially designated by the government as an ‘Intangible Cultural Asset’ of Japan. But unknown maker.
Japanese Antique Lacquerware Tray Gold and Cinnabar on black, Bird and Bamboo