Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

What was this used for? - PHOTO REQUIRED
Traintime
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Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Traintime » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:39 pm

It came with the nice little pillow, but I don't know if it belongs together like a rest or pin cushion. Any ideas on purpose and age?

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Traintime
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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Traintime » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:07 am

A note on the pillow, just in case: Hand stiched white thread. Maybe cotton bunting fill material. Woven lines converge to form, yes, swastikas..once a good luck symbol and not too popular after a certain worldwide problem.

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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:16 am

Do you think the pillow is made of buckwheat husk, or stuffed with buckwheat husk? :: I once found what I thought was a "jade placemat," but it turned out to be a medicinal pillow made of jade used for health benefits in chinese medicine, so I am thinking that this may be a medicinal pillow in japanese medicine, perhaps the buckwheat has health benefits :::: A complete guess here ::

I've never seen anything quite like it, of this I am certain :

Traintime
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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Traintime » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:50 am

It left no shape-shadow on the inside patina which is even, so I thought it may have been mated. Soft material inside compresses and responds back like sponge, but uneveness says it is probably not synthetic cellulose. No crackly feel of dried material. The cover is not a supertight weave and has a slight satin sheen at points...could be a rough silk. But who still makes swastika designs these days...China??

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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:56 pm

I have encountered these interlocking sun-symbols on a cinnabar pendant with a buddha-like figure with a flaming sword, I can't recall the specific name for these amulets, but they are often nowadays mounted in a car for protection, and you can find antique examples as well :: Since this symbol became so forbidden, we should safely say that the pillow is pre-1940, and the hallmark seems to me to be from the 1920s or 1930s as well, so I would think this would be an antique for sure, and since I saw a very similar pattern on a chinese cinnabar pendant, it's possible that this pillow was made in Japan but intended for a Chinese market because this particular symbol seems to show up more in Chinese culture than Japanese culture, this is my best guess, and if someone with more knowledge could chime in that would help :::

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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Aguest » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:03 pm

Samurai Shokai was a well-regarded shop of luxury goods in Yokohama Japan:

“[Samurai Shokai is an] old established trustworthy house, highly spoken of, with one of the finest collections (second only in point of interest to the National Museum, at Tokyo) of curios and art objects in Japan. Recognised by antiquarians and art connoisseurs as headquarters for many of the beautiful products for which Japan is celebrated.
“The showrooms, filled with choice Japanese, Chinese and Korean carved furniture, porcelains, ivories, bronzes, brasses, silver pieces, damascene work, gold lacquer, mother-of-pearl inlays, tea-sets, chests, screens, brocades, silks; diamond, pearl, jade and other jewelry, etc., etc., rank among the city’s most interesting sights.
“English is spoken in all the departments. Prices are marked in plain figures, and there are no misrepresentations. Purveyors to the Imperial Japanese Household, and to the chief Museums of the world. Wholesale and retail. Manufacturers and exporters. Mail orders a specialty. Recommended.”

– Terry’s Japanese Empire, T. Phillip Terry, 1914

Traintime
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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Traintime » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:47 pm

I would take it, in deference to Japanese practice, this is a "no shiner" with the patina to be religiously left on.

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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Aguest » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:40 pm

Maybe just polish the beak of the crane :: Another suggestion would be to only polish the bottom to accentuate the hallmark, just around the hallmark area ::: I would leave the part where the pillow touches the silver unpolished because that area will be touching the pillow for eternity and you wouldn't want to get any silver polish on the pillow itself by accident :::: You could even polish the entire crane just to see how it looks :::::

I still don't quite understand a few things here, for instance are you supposed to return the pillow back to the silver crane dish after you are finished using the pillow, or was the pillow meant to be taken out of the dish and then the dish could be used as a candy dish? ::::::

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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby dragonflywink » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:44 am

It's a nice piece, would guess late Meiji - personally, wouldn't polish it at all. Doubt the little cushion belongs, see few indications of age, the needlework is careless, and if it were originally meant to be with it as something like a pincushion, it would be fitted to the shape of the bowl. The 'fretwork' pattern of the fabric is very common, it's called 'sayagata' and I see in textiles and papers all the time. Would be nice to know the size - from the shape, looks like it might be a brush washer...

~Cheryl

Traintime
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Re: Samurai Shokai Crane Bowl

Postby Traintime » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:09 pm

Measurements: Extreme length from beak point to back wall of bowl at midline 5 5/16"; Bowl bottom diameter 4 5/8"; Bowl top from crane neck base to rear top rim 3 9/16"; height extreme base to highest rim 1 3/16"; height minimum base to bowl rim 15/16"; head from beak to extreme back 1 7/8"; head width at extreme 1/2". Pillow is 3 1/2" x 3 3/4". Were in agreement about the patina staying..don't want to stir up any trouble among anyone in the ancestral spirits world over there.


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