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Early 19th Century, Pair of Sake Tables, Edo Period, Art of Japan

$6,400per set


Maki-e, a combination of two Japanese words ? (Maki) and ?(E), meaning sprinkled picture, is a decoration technique used to apply on the lacquerware. It was developed in the Heian Period and flourished in the Edo Period. By using a variety of metal powders including gold, silver, aluminum, copper, and alloy, craftsmen are able to create different colors and textures. There are three major types of Maki-e. Hira-maki-e is the most basic form that craftsmen apply the sprinkled power directly on the surface and in which the design is raised above the surface only by the thickness of lacquer with what is drawn. Togidashi-maki-e is that the craftsmen apply the lacquer over the sprinkled design, then burnish the entire surface with charcoal until the design is flush with the background. Taka-maki-e creates somewhat a three-dimensional effect on the image as more foundation layers are added to raise the design above the surface. The sake table displays the scenery of Mount Takao, which is a mountain located city of Hachioji, on the far western edge of the Tokyo. From the mid to late November, it is a pleasant place to enjoy the autumn colors. It is also regarded as a sacred site to visit since 774 that the Emperor Shomu ordered to build a Buddhist temple Takao-san on it. The background is colored by sprinkling different densities of gold powder to imitate a misty mountain. Because it is a early autumn, only some of the leaves turn crimson looming in between the layers of mist, while others remain in gold. The application Taka-maki-e helps to raise the maple trees from the background to create the depth of the landscape. The long wavy curves twisting and turning along the paths are the flow of river water. To highlight the leaves and rocks, small pieces of gold and silver sheets were inlaid. Another sake table displays the scenery around the Moon Crossing Bridge, an iconic landmark of the Storm Mountain. It is said that the name of this bridge derives from a folklore that one day when Emperor Kameyama went sailing on the river under the full moon, he described the moon was like crossing the bridge in response to his own experience at that moment. The sprinkled gold powers resembling a sea of clouds covered the back and fore of the mountains. The mountains are flush with the background due to the application of Togidashi maki-e. The pine trees located at two sides and the bridge were made out of Taka-maki-e, of which the textures of branches and bridge structure can be vividly presented. The wavy curves suggest a vitality of the river water. In addition, thin inlaid sheets of cut gold, called kanagai, are being used to construct the flowers, bridge, and as well as the shades of stones. This pair of sake tables is an excellent piece that demonstrates the art of Japanese lacquerware in high standard. Through utilizing different types of maki-e, the sake table is more than a design for ordinary usage but a visual enjoyment for its collector.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 7.49 in. (19 cm)Width: 8.47 in. (21.5 cm)Depth: 8.47 in. (21.5 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Edo (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Hong-Kong, HK
  • Reference Number
    Seller: LS1151stDibs: LU2554310001183

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Hong-Kong, Hong Kong
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Hong-Kong, Hong Kong
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