Uncommon Japanese Marble Maki-E Vase

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This is an unusual cylindrical marble vase and we haven't been able to find it’s parallel. A handsome example of maki-e lacquer-work, an ancient art of applying lacquer decoration mixed with the dust of precious and semi-precious metals. The technique enjoyed a kind of Renaissance beginning in the 17th century and probably reached its peak of sophistication in the 19th century when the craze for Japanese art was sweeping Europe. This object is most likely from the end of the 19th century. We venture a guess that it was originally made as an impressive and unusual container for ikebana. We love the marble as much as the decoration the gold on the veined and mottled gray surface is such a rare and beautiful juxtaposition.

The vase is not in perfect condition. As wonderful as the choice of marble is, the non-porous surface has led to some chipping away of the gilt lacquer. There is also one small repair on the rim of the vase. We are not discouraged by the imperfection. Let's call it wabi sabi and enjoy the evidence of the object's use over the years.
Unknown (Maker)
Place of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
19th Century
Materials and Techniques
Good. One small repair near rim. .
9.75 in. H
25 cm H
Dealer Location
New York, NY
Number of Items
Reference Number
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1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in New York, NY