Splayed Handled Flower Basket
Tanabe Chikuunsai I (1877-1937)
Item number: T-4274
Size: H 16.4" x W 12.8" (41.6 x 32.5 cm)
Taisho (1912 –1926) or Showa (1926 –1989) era, 1920s
Madake bamboo, rattan; twill plaiting, mat plait- ing, yotsume-gaeshi complex lozenge plaiting over vertical strips, twining, carving, wrapping, knotting
16 3⁄8 × 12 3⁄4 ×12 3⁄4 in. (41.6 × 32.5 × 32.5 cm) Signed underneath: Chikuunsai kore o tsukuru
For this classic basket in the splayed suehiro shape associated with auspicious occasions, Chikuunsai combined an unusually large array of different weaving techniques. Above a carved bamboo base he started with a passage of unusually bold twill weaving with some diagonals “jumping” over as many as four others, followed by a circular band wrapped and knotted with rattan. He continued with nine rows of conventional gozame mat plaiting with thin horizontals and wide verticals, then switched to a complex combination of diagonal plaiting over the same wide verticals, alternating with passages of twining. He finished with four more rows of gozame below an elaborately wrapped and knotted rim supporting a carved and knotted handle. Similar plaiting scenarios can be seen in another suehiro-type basket by Chikuunsai I in the Diane and Arthur Abbey collection, as well as in one by his leading early pupil Ueda Shōunsai (1897 –1990).