I recently inherited an Asian four panel screen from my father’s estate and I wanted to see if you could provide any additional details and possibly an appraisal on it. I may explore auctioning the item. My father purchased the screen in Japan back in the early 1970’s and shared little information about it’s origins. I do have an art contact in Japan who has shed some possible light on the piece which I summarized below: • Appears to be authentic Japanese lacquerware from the Edo Period, possibly made in the Wajima area of Japan • This appears to be Urishi black lacquer and consistent with the Edo Period • The seasonal scenes on the back of the panels is consistent with Maki-e method (gold dust art) also developed during the Edo Period • The Bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum tree scenes with birds are common in Chinese poetry. Each panel expresses a season and writings appear to be Chinese • On the front of the screen the Warriors are in solid bronze done with what is referred to as Taka-makie (very high grade) • The warriors I am told represent four great Chinese warriors • The screen is 72” tall and each panel is 20” wide and 1.25” deep, solid wood • The bronze characters are 2’ tall
My father purchased the screen in Japan back in the early 1970’s and shared little information about it’s origins. It has never been exhibited and was always displayed in my family home. I acquired the piece in early 2020.
Your panel is indeed made in Japan. If you look at the original hinges that supports my opinion the screen is made after 1950. These are machine made hinges. Having said that, the brass and bronze appliques are really nice and have great expression. The appliques are not in Taka-makie technique this is done with lacquer, paint and gold dust. Your appliques are cire perdue casted and put together. The brass parts have a different alloy then the darker pieces. Darker pieces can be patinated to get this type of color. If you would sell such a screen in a specialized sale I believe a price around the estimate is possible.