Maeda Chikubosai I (1872-1950)

Handled Circular Flower Basket in Chinese Style

Maeda Chikubosai I (1872-1950)

Item number: T-4111
Size: H 14" x W 15" x L 15" (35.5 x 38 x 38 cm)
Era: Showa era (1926-89)

Other views

ca. 1940s

Madake bamboo, rattan, copper; bundled plaiting, twill plaiting, openwork twill plaiting, bending, wrapping, knotting; copper liner

Signed: Chikubōsai kore o tsukuru (Chikubōsai made this)

Fitted wood storage box

This style of flower basket appears to have been pioneered by Chikubōsai’s contemporary Tanabe Chikuunsai (1877–1937) who based his design, in turn, on miniature versions made by Hayakawa Shōkosai I (1815–1897), one of the pioneers of art basketry in western Japan. Such baskets are sometimes referred to as fruit baskets, but in this case (as with several of Chikuunsai’s baskets) the presence of a waterproof copper liner suggested that the basket was intended for a flower arrangement. The use of tabane-ami (bundled-plaiting), a technique pioneered by the great avant-garde bamboo artist Iizuka Rōkansai (1890–1958) in the mid-1930s, indicates that the present basket is a masterpiece made late in Chikubōsai’s career. Another basket of this type by Chikubōsai, again with a bent handle (which is however made from a rhizome rather than a stem of bamboo) is in the Snider collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; see Kazuko Todate, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Bamboo Art from the Stanley and Mary Ann Snider Collection, Boston, MFA Publications, 2013, p. 108.

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