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Japanese Lacquer Tray with Maki-e and Inlay Hara Yoyusai Edo Period



A lovely Japanese lacquer rectangular lacquer tray with a slightly scalloped corner and four L shape supporting feet by one of the most celebrated lacquer artist active in Edo period Hara Yoyusai (1772-1845). Yoyusai lived in Edo (Tokyo) and worked under the patronage of Lord Matsudaira. He operated a large workshop and had a very prolific output of lacquer objects. Most survived pieces being inro,, netsukes and smaller objects of art, larger pieces like this tray are rare. He worked with painter Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) and his student Suzuki Kiitsu (1761-1858), who supplied him with many designs in Rimpa style for the maki-e decoration on his lacquer work. Their close collaboration led to a revival of the interest in Ogata Korin's Rimpa style work, a generation before them. This rare tray by Yoyusai was decorated with motifs of bundles of various spring grasses, achieved with takamakie of contrasting heights. Many broader water crest leaves with exquisitely inlaid with raden (mother of pearl) and reflects the light beautifully. On the left upper corner, unexpectedly, one finds two buckets of silver or pewter sheet inlay (difficult to tell without polishing) that contains a bundles of the plants. This is a subtly playful touch that breaks the visual expectation of the design pattern, while suggesting an underlying story. There must be a person who is collecting the leaves, but remains out of the picture frame. A beautiful maiden, perhaps? shy at the sight of a stranger? Under the tray, the artist signed the studio name Yoyusai and also with his Kao. For another tray of the exact same shape but different maki-e design, see Lot 230 of the Bonham' s London Sale: The Edward Wrangham Collection of Japanese Art; Part V on Nov 5th, 2014.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 1.5 in. (3.81 cm)Width: 11.5 in. (29.21 cm)Depth: 8.25 in. (20.96 cm)
  • Style
    Japonisme (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    19th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor wear, mostly light scratches on the base and the contact parts of the feet. A couple of raden inlays may have been refilled with gold powder historically.
  • Seller Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU945023596302

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $110 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Atlanta, GA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Atlanta, GA
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