Dragon Menuki Attributed to Umetada - Ex Sasano Collection
Dragon menuki made of shibuichi with gold gilding. Very thin walled with exceptional detail. One dragon is male, clutching a sword in his tail, while the female dragon clutches a sacred jewel (magatama). The sword, jewel and mirror are the 3 sacred imperial regalia, interwoven into Japanese creation and imperial ascension mythology. I have conducted a metal analysis on these menuki, which is suggestive that the shibuichi was chemically treated to create the silvery sheen of earlier Ezo peices. Umetada was of course famous for his unique and striking metal combinations, whose colors were often achieved through chemical patination. Note that interestingly they have no retention pegs on the backs, and likely would have been adhered with a pitch glue. These are beautiful, elegant pieces which would be a great addition to any collection.
Sasano Masayuki wrote a hakogaki attributing these menuki to Umetada, rating them "kasaku - good piece". Awarded NTHK Kanteisho papers. Early Edo Period (ca. Keicho).
6.8 x 1.3 x 0.4 cm