Tea Caddy with Pines Cranes and Grasses
Fujii Kanbun (1888-1973)
Item number: T-4308
Size: H 2.6" x W 2.6" x L 2.6" (6.7 x 6.7 x 6.7 cm)
Era: Showa era (1926-89)
1960s A natsume tea caddy, the turned-wood body finished in roiro polished black lacquer and decorated in gold chinkinbori carving on the exterior with pines and on the interior with two flying cranes and grasses. Signed underneath Kanbun koku 観文刻 (Carved by Kanbun). Comes with the original fitted kiri-wood tomobako box inscribed outside Matsu katagiri chinkinbori natsume 松片切沈金彫 棗 (Tea caddy with pines in angled carving and chinkinbori); signed and sealed inside Kanbun 観文. A native of the lacquering town of Wajima, Fujii Kanbun was initially apprenticed to the chinkinbori specialist Hashimoto Sasuke but then trained for a time with the painter Kawai Gyokudō (1873–1957) and exhibited paintings intermittently at the Teiten national salon from 1921 to 1934. He then returned to lacquering, showing his work at the Nihon Dentō Ten (Traditional Japanese Crafts Exhibition) from 1956. Chinkinbori, a technique much used in Wajima, involves carving into the lacquer surface, then filling the resulting grooves with gold foil. The use of an angled chisel results in a line of varying width that emulates the appearance of brush painting, making it natural that Kanbun would have switched between the two mediums.