A Bronze Flower Vase by Living National Treasure Takahashi Keiten

Artist:Takahashi KeitenEra:HeiseiPrice:$1,500Inquire:info@shirakuragallery.com

The style of this vase, known in Japanese as karakane (“kara” meaning Chinese and “kane” meaning copper), has been carried on by Japanese craftsmen since its theorized introduction during China’s Tang Dynasty. Falling in and out of fashion over the centuries as Japan alternated between preferences for Chinese style tea-ware and more homegrown versions, today it remains a common fixture in many tea rooms. With beautiful red accents on a dark background, this is surely one of this artist’s most striking pieces.

A native of Yamagata prefecture,Takahashi Keiten (1920 – 2009) is recognized as a Living National Treasure in metalworking, specifically, for crafting chanoyu-gama (kettles used in tea ceremony). Shortly after taking up the study of metalworking under Nagano Tetsushi in 1950 he started exhibiting and entering his pieces in competition and in 1963 he was recognized as an upcoming talent in the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibit. Takahashi also has the distinction of presenting his pieces to both the Showa and Heisei Emperors on the occasion of their visits to Yamagata.

In excellent condition, this vase is 3.4 inches in diameter (8.5 cm) and stands 10.6 inches tall (27 cm). It bears the artist’s signature on the base, comes with a sealed and signed wood box (tomobako), and includes an informational insert detailing the artist and workshop.