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Japanese Antique Shibayama Wall Plaque Inlaid Mother of Pearl Geisha Musicians Meiji

Large Japanese Antique Shibayama Lacquer Wall Plaque Inlaid Mother of Pearl and Abalone Shell of Geisha Musicians Meiji circa 1890Click the image to enlarge

Japanese Antique Shibayama Wall Plaque Inlaid Mother of Pearl Geisha Musicians Meiji

A large Japanese Meiji period Shibayama lobed circular bowl or dish shaped lacquered wooden wall plaque circa 1890. The highly decorative plaque is inlaid in the centre in high relief with carved, shaped and engraved mother of pearl and abalone shell against the black lacquer background with a design of Geishas in traditional dress of Kimonos and hairstyles or Nihongami (日本髪). The border, frame or rim has a deep dark red or burgundy coloured lacquer ground decorated with prunus branches leaves and blossom in muted tones.

The central image depicts three Geishas, two kneeling down playing musical instruments. One is playing a shamisen or samisen ( 三味線 ) a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument derived from the Chinese instrument sanxian, which is very loosely guitar shaped. The other seated Geisha or woman is playing drum or Taiko (太鼓) or a Nagauta shime-daiko (長唄締め太鼓), a roughly snare drum-sized rope tunable instrument. The third is stood up in the centre performing a dance with a fan.

This very attractive and decorative late 19th century lacquer wall plaque or panel has an integral frame lacquered in a dark burgundy and painted in black with prunus flowers or cherry blossom, with traces of gilding. We think that it dates from the late Meiji ( 明治 ) period (1868 to 1912). It has an old collectors or retailers paper label to the rear.

The plaque has a deep turned wooden foot to the back and has a screwed in metal loop to hang it on the wall.

The plaque is in very good antique condition. There are some very minor knocks and losses to the lacquer on edges of the panels. Minor marking commensurate with it's age. The gilding has worn, but there are no losses to the mother of pearl and abalone inlay. 

The plaque is approximately 18 inches (46 cm) diameter and 3 3/4 inches ( 9.5 cm) deep and weighs 1.378 Kg unpacked.

A great late 19th century Meiji shibayama plaque and a very decorative and collectable antique item. Free UK postage with this item.

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