Iridescent Pull Bow

July 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Die Cutting Machines and Supplies

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[mage lang="en|fr|es|en" source="answers"]Iridescent Pull Bow[/mage]

The Fascination of Japanese lacquer Inro and Boxes

Japanese Lacquer Inro and Boxes are these incredibly beautiful works of art, especially the the end pieces 18 and early 19th century. I think many of them high among the finest treasures of the world!

But I hope to be too technical, my intention is to use and explain the terms and names that are most commonly used. Thus, readers who might be tempted to watch the sale catalogs, be better able to appreciate and understand the descriptions.

Fashion Inro

With the introduction of the kimono, the Inro become one of the most important fashion accessory and essential that you use to carry out individual elements, such as pads and medication.

The kimono has no pockets so the inro was an intelligent being, consisting of an interconnected series small sections, all united in a silken cord hanging from the belt attached with the size. Soon, it evolved from a purely functional to a very high, and the designs and decoration gradually became richer, finer and more luxurious.

Netsuke and Ojima

An account is known as a "Ojima" maintains the various sections and sealed. A switch normally a small wood or ivory known as "Netsuke" also fit into the silk cord. The netsuke (these are beautiful little sculptures) would be pushed upwards in the band (known as "Obi") to be related to size, and thus maintain the suspension Inro below.

The silk cord that had to be about 56 inches long, and was threaded so that about 3 to 4 inches of bone are shown below Obi "to" Ojima and Inro. Still with me? Under the special loops Inro arc formed with many loops, normally, six of the same size. It would be a node, which is hidden in the larger of the two holes in the netsuke cord. There are no loose ends would be visible.

Sometimes a Manju is used instead of netsuke. It is rather a thick pocket watch the form of sculpture, consisting of two sections that open. The lower part has a central hole and a ring for the cable is fixed under section higher. Once connected to cable, the node that are hidden inside, but unlike netsuke, sculpture or decoration Manju is one of only two dimensions.

The ex-Ojima "were simply punched tape, often of coral, and he had faith in superstition that coral disintegrates About poison. Very useful for if you had been the case, and took and took some drugs so strange. Later semi-precious stones and ivory were used, some of them are beautifully sculpted, and there are a lot of metal very Ojima fine. Today, collectors specialize in just Ojima and came to be very valuable. I think it is quite unfortunately many of these items are collected separately, when in fact, belong together.

For many years Netsuke collectors has been, and I thank you for what may, that they are works of art all, besides being a wonderful piece of manipulation. But many netsuke collectors given time to find that they feel tempted by Inro too! I have always regarded as a collector and specialist, but not be happy to have Inro, Netsuke or without Ojima, because it seems so incomplete! I could not imagine being satisfied by the collection Ojima, beautiful as some of them are. Clearly, these high prices were the main reason for the expertise!

Keep lacquer

A Great care must be to treat the paint as it can be easily damaged stroke. The most common cause occurs inro when collected, for if allowed to swing and hit against the netsuke inro, lacquer and the chip is Dent.

Always try to keep the silk cord to inspect Inro, rather than the finger of the lacquer, as there is something in our sweat in Mar brightness over time.

All the varnish is best kept in a humid environment to avoid sudden changes in temperature reasonable. This is not as difficult to achieve in this country is simply a matter keep a container of water in the same cabinet and avoid using hot spots.

Lacquer Boxes

Most photos were made in early suzuribako keep things as they were written entirely equipped boxes containing the block ink drops of water, brushes and tools. Some were equipped with all the requirements for recreation such as incense or play a game Shell while others were designed as a picnic basket.

A large number of lacquer boxes were used as a means of packaging, document delivery, or cakes and gifts.

The practice used to that once completed gifts, which were simply wrapped in a material that is formed into a bag. It was then on his shoulder, and delivered by mail. The receiver then would have all the boxes, usually with a note and something a little about them as a gift to thank you, so that these photos will be used again and again.

All are tastefully decorated and it is surprising to us that these paintings are not at the time, considered more valuable.


Almost all the drawings from classical literature, paintings or raw blocks of wood. photo editing products had become popular in the 17th century. Almost never had a text but most of the illustrations have been copied and used by artists Laca, the same way that artisans have been others, such as coatings, potters and metal workers. Thus, there are several popular scenes Inro recurring, like the young shepherd playing the flute with his rest and sleep Beef Rosei is another frequent topic.

Photography (To see photos click on the link below this article) that represents a dream is a very Rosei Inro good example is shown partly hidden by the fan that is embedded with a piece of iridescent shell thin. At certain angles of light his face is clearly visible. On the reverse, in the magnificent work of fine gold, is the object of his dream. He dreams of his walk majestic procession of the Court. This is Inro Signed Kyuhaku Komo.

Together it is a lacquer Ojima Inro, Netsuke and a forest of carved like a kneeling man with a dagger. This intriguing netsuke signed Minko. By gently pulling the sheath, the steel plate between the point of view, the creation of an illusion.

I apologize because the cord tissue is not related to the proper way in the two photographs Inro - one day I put this right!

compositions generally animals, flowers, birds, insects, Mount Fuji, daily life, myths and legends. The first Western visitors were also fascinated the Japanese. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in 1542, soon followed by the Dutch and all the arts have been influenced in large part from the mid 16th century. Netherlands, in particular, appear quite frequently in a wide range of oriental art.

Amazing Skills

Many designs new techniques and the most beautiful Japanese were in the original boxes from the 14th century and 15. The skills and control in the decoration that developed in the 18th century and early 19th century, is based both on techniques and previous models but this was a period when it reached new heights with breathtaking and beautiful lacquer works were created.

Several craftsmen participated in the development of a Inro. First base fine wood have been carefully selected wood where all nodes must be avoided. Conifers were preferred because the number rosin bit.

What then would delivered to the craftsman who is a specialist in implementing the basis of many layers of lacquer. Each layer is extremely thin, and little by little varnish first Quality has been used, at least 30 layers were applied, so that no trace of wood in everything can be seen. Only this stage of the lacquer artist responsible for designing and creating many layers of decoration began.

What seems surprising to me if Considering how the wooden base was made, was that he had to make concessions to the thickness of these layers. However, the adjustment Inro sections and place them on the other so perfectly that you can not view any of the lines that divide has been closed.


Often two artists work together to decorate an inro, an artist of lacquer, the other can be a worker or even a metal sculptor Netsuke, providing items worked wonderfully, which is incorporated in the lacquer. Different materials have been used This way precious metals, ceramics, ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and many others. By the other hand, there must be collaboration very close, every time a design carved superimposed on an article that should be done in two parts for the opening Inro. These companies have Inro usually two, the two artists to sign.

The best gold Inro is decorated with exquisitely photographed applied metal work, the scene is a scene with two actors. One is an archer about to bow to the other on the back, which is the protection of a bending monkey.

The face of the archer, but also is seen in profile, surprisingly, has full details of the face, if viewed from the side.

The remarkable metal work is divided into three sections Inro. In this particular case, both the lacquer and metal work were by the same artist Noriyuki and his signature. (See image use the link at the end of this article.)

This INRO attacked a metal Ojima, and a good Ivory Netsuke of two musicians. The netsuke is signed Harumin.


Signatures, however, are not always a reliable way to know who did the work. Often, the company has been honored, not as a fake, a great artist who was behind the conception that the first artists Ritsu up and Korin. Many works very thin varnish were not signed at all. Parts that have been ordered by the Shogun or daimyo, where only the highest standards were acceptable in principle would not be signed, regardless of the importance of the artist.

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration means the loss of these customers, and Japan had been open to the west. This means that artists had to try to attract new customers with an unknown Western taste. God thank you, they were not yet ready to renounce some of their designs and traditional techniques.

The names passed from one generation to another, the name of a particular artist, admired by all to be signed generations. They are also non-students, who are encouraged to use the same name, in the work of a sufficiently high level, that is, until they were competent enough to become independent. A family name was Koma, where the last artist of the 19th century famous, Shibata Zeshin taught.

There is a superb demonstration of Inro by Zeshin in the V & A Museum, a collection based on the twelve months of the year, deserves a visit. Each piece is superb, and a variety of techniques can see in one place!

Grandes Ecoles

The best performers were all talented members of schools, often under the supervision of a master, Koma and Kajikawa, and these two schools of quality production of high lacquer for more than two hundred years. Other schools have become known for their special techniques. One of them is to specialize in SOMADIR Inlaid Shell very thin, the other is Shibayama who worked with thicker materials inlaid, such as Shell, ivory, soapstone, ceramics and many other materials. It was also Tsuishu Yosei who brilliantly carved red lacquer, but Shiomi Masanari school art the most difficult of all, known Togadashi where it is kept perfectly flat.

Excellent job lacquer Inro without limitation, but there are also some pictures of the beautiful be used, such as "Bunko" documents, "Fubako for letters and boxes of incense" Kogo, originally used for cosmetic products. Some of these photos also have a shelf modules, and sometimes a set of small boxes which fit inside. Many of these items, described above, including writing, games and picnic boxes and furniture, you can find finely decorated as Inro.

The small Kogo Kosentie photographed so beautifully decorated and signed on the cover and sides, with scenes of bamboo that grows continuously, and a stream. The plate was installed similar scene, and any other party is covered with small pieces of gold, each individually placed by hand. so much richer finish is achieved, the most usual Nashiji, where gold is sprinkled on Caution! (See photo using the link at the end of this article.)

If you have a look at the composition of the work ethic is hard to resist the paint. The Inro are very ingenious methods to develop a desire to see the other side, that the use of a rope disappears mysteriously on the side, or a roller that runs around the Inro.

When he began collecting, we simply as pieces you can buy instinctively loved, and we have no regrets. There is much to learn, but once you care, especially in these days when modern inro occur at a very high. After seeing the work of Unryu, a very good artist born in 1952, Inro command almost as much as previous work. Inro many today were very skilfully repaired and now that so much money is involved very careful when purchasing necessary.

Hope that libraries will always Varnish private and will not be limited to museums, because it is a fascinating hobby!

About the Author

The author has been a very keen collector for many years in helping to create ‘The Cohen collection’. To see any of the photographs mentioned please click on the following link: also

John N. Cohen A past director of Jacey Cinemas Ltd. Later the proprietor of a design & photographic studio, now a director of Jacey Homes Ltd., a property development company. Interests and Hobbies: A top international award winning photographer who also became a well known Asian antiques collector and an enthusiast of Jensen British classic cars. Other interests are skiing and Salsa dancing.

For John’s other interests please have a look at: -


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