Japanese bronze elephant balanced on two feet in a running position with its trunk raised on a carved wood base signed with chiselled characters Atsuyoshi saku 厚義作 with square seal Maruki shachu sei まるき社中製 (made by Miyabe Atsuyoshi for the Maruki Company), Meiji Period (1868-1912).
The artist Miyabe Atsuyoshi is recorded in Wakayama Takeshi 若山猛, Kinko jiten 金工事典 (Dictionary of Metalworkers), Tokyo, Token Shunju Shinbunsha 刀剣春秋新聞社, 1999, p.1141, as a maker of sword-fittings and a pupil of Shinoyama Tokuoki (1813-1891), active in Kyoto during the late Edo period and early Meiji era. He was a master bronze smith who exhibited domestically and internationally like at the St. Louis World’s fair in 1904.
The Maruki workshop was based in Sukiya Street, Nihonbashi ward-Tokyo, made fine quality bronzes and carvings during the Meiji era, and exhibited at many domestic and international exhibitions.
Reference: ' Meiji no Takara 明治の宝 Treasures of Imperial Japan, the D. Khalili Collection' the Kibo Foundation 1995, Metalwork Part II, no. 103.
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