This four-footed lacquer tray is made by the dry lacquer (kanshitsu) technique, in which layers of lacquer are applied one by one over cloth surfaces, with each layer allowed to dry completely before the application of the next layer. It is decorated with the raised “sprinkled-picture” (takamaki-e) and mother-of-pearl inlay (raden) methods. The sprinkled-picture method involves the sprinkling of metallic powered over a lacquer surface to create sparkling surfaces, sometimes with recognizable images. The result here is a beautiful rippling wave effect lapping over a smooth gold ground of polished gold (kinji) with raised golden circles like shifting sand upon a glistening, moist seashore. The underside of the bowl is decorated in the pear-ground method (nashiji).
On the underside, the work is signed “Yū” (雄), the first character of the artist’s first name, in the flat sprinkled-picture method (hiramaki-e). The work comes with a box inscribed and signed by the artist. On the upper right of lid of the box is written “mother-of-pearl-inlay sprinkled-picture dry lacquer tray” (raden maki-e kanshitsu moribon 螺鈿蒔絵乾漆盛盆), while the lower left corner of the lid of the box has a red seal reading Okada Yūji (岡田雄志) and the signature “made by Heian Yūji” (平安雄志).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.
Artist: Somada School Artist (Japanese)Date: late 18th–early 19th centuryMedium: Four cases; lacquered wood with gold hiramaki-e, togidashimaki-e, nashiji (“pear-skin ground”), gold foil cutouts, and mother-of-pearl inlay on black lacquer ground Netsuke: manju type, basket with chrysanthemums; lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlay Ojime: carved red lacquer beadAccession: 29.100.729On view in:Gallery 223