A shibuichi plaque of round form, carved in katakiribori with Jurojin, the God of learning and longevity carrying a shaku, a sacred baton with an attached scroll containing the wisdom of the world.
He has a white beard and is in the company of a crane and a white stag, symbolic of contentment in old age, worked in shakudo, silver and gilt and mounted on a wood panel within a harwood frame. Signed Sumida tsutsumi nite, nanajuusan o, Jitokusai Ichiya koku 筆意写, 於墨堤ひ, 七十三翁 自得斎一也刻 (engraved by Jitokusai Ichiya, residing near the Sumida River, at the age of 73) with gold seal Ichiya no in 弌也之印 (seal of Ichiya), Taishō period (1912-1926).
The tomobako wood storage box inscribed Taisho mizunoe-inu toshi kajitsu saku, Nanajuu-san-o Jitokusai Sekiguchi Ichiya, seal Ichiya no in 大正壬戌年夏日作, 七十三翁, 自得斎 関口一也, with seal 一也之印 (made by Sekiguchi Ichiya, art name Jitokusai on a summer day in the year 1922, Taishō 11, at the age of 73 with seal Ichiya).
Sekiguchi Ichiya 関口一也 was born in Tokyo (1850-1933), his go(art name) Jitokusai
自得斎, was apprenticed to Sugiura Ikken in 1864, later studying for ten years under Goto Ichijo and Goto Korai. He was a member of the Tokyo Association of Carvers and Sculptors (Tokyo Chokokai 東京彫工会) and the Japan Art Association (Nihon Bijutsu Kyokai 日本美術協会), highly regarded for takabori or high relief metal carving, metal inlay and coloured metal patination.
Ichiya exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 and in 1910 at the Japan-British Exhibition. In 1928 Nihon Bijutsu Meikan lists him as a living artist, and is likely that he died in the following decade. His son Sekiguchi Shinya was also an excellent metalwork artist.
Meiji no Takara 明治の宝 Treasures of Imperial Japan, the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, the Kibo Foundation 1995, Metalwork Part II, no. 135.
Size Plaque diameter 27cm (10.6" in.)
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