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Subject:Japanese Cloisonne Vase, Wisteria Motif, Namikawa Yasuyuki Mark
Posted By: Bill H Tue, May 30, 2017 IP: 2601:0342:0080:4e1c:

A friend, who's also lucky at cards, went to a yard sale recently and walked away with this slightly damaged Japanese cloisonné vase with Namikawa Yasuyuki base-mark on a silver plaque. I wonder if beadiste or other collectors can think of any reasons to discount its probable authenticity.

The vase is 7.75 inches high; base diameter is 1.5 inches; the top is 2.75 inches square; and there's a small amount of damage on one shoulder. The material appears to be enamel on silver, and workmanship looks superior.

Best regards to all,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Japanese Cloisonne Vase, Wisteria Motif, Namikawa Yasuyuki Mark
Posted By: Bokaba Wed, May 31, 2017

Very nice vase Bill. Great wisteria. I like the unusual square form that tapers down to the round base. I can't speak to the authenticity, but Namikawa Yasuyuki was the imperial household artist at the end of the Meiji Period, so this piece would date to sometime around 1880s to 1912 (though he may have continued working until the end of his life in the late 1920s).


Subject:Signature plate matches
Posted By: beadiste Wed, May 31, 2017

one pictured in a Japanese book from the Namikawa Museum in Kyoto, on the base of a landscape covered jar. Being illiterate in Japanese, I cannot tell when the jar dates from. Also two illustrations in this book show small vases of similar shape, a particularly interesting one being an inversion of the one your friend now owns - i.e., the base is quadrangular, graduating into a small round neck. Guessing your friend's vase once upon a time had an accompanying carved wooden stand to make a steadier support?

The unusual creamy yellow enamel also appears in variants on the pieces in the museum book. Uranium salts can be used to produce this color in glass. So I wonder if your friend's vase would display a spectral green fluorescent glow if held in a darkened closet and illuminated by a UV flashlight? That would be cool.

Fredric Schneider mentions the introduction of uranium as a glass and enamel colorant by German chemist Gottfried Wagener: "Uranium was used in Japan (and elsewhere) in many other enamels from the late 19th century until the post-war American ban. Uranium oxides can be used both to create colors (e.g., ivory, yellow, orange-red, dark greens, grays and blacks) and to make enamels more brilliant."

Subject:1890-1905 per Fredric Schneider's book
Posted By: beadiste Wed, May 31, 2017

"In use ca. 1890-1905. Impressed on inscribed silver tablet."

Subject:Re: 1890-1905 per Fredric Schneider's book
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Jun 01, 2017

I'm grateful to both your replies, Bokaba & Beadiste. Will make sure my friend tests the vase with a UV light, but his face will brighten in any event when he sees these responses.

Much obliged,

Bill H.

Subject:A bit more
Posted By: beadiste Thu, Jun 01, 2017

A good compilation of stories and photos about Namikawa Yasuyuki is at this link:

It includes a photo of an exhibition vase with its original carved wooden stand.

Cohen & Ferster's book Japanese Cloisonne also has two pictures from the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, from Yamashita's Illustrated Catalog of Japanese Fine Art Exhibits...Louisiana Purchase Exposition... [photo quoted below]

Subject:Re: A bit more
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Jun 02, 2017

Beadiste, if you were Japanese, I believe you well might deserve the title "National Treasure". Around here, you'll just have to settle for "International Treasure"! :)


Bill H.

Subject:Let's hear it for Fredric Schneider and Beatrice Quette
Posted By: beadiste Fri, Jun 02, 2017

Authors/editors of two books I rely heavily upon.é-Chinese-Enamels-Yuan-Dynasties/dp/030016720

Subject:Re: Japanese Cloisonne Vase, Wisteria Motif, Namikawa Yasuyuki Mark
Posted By: MBR Mon, May 02, 2022

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