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Inro/Ojime/Netsuke
MPE 131917
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The four case lacquered inrō is signed Inagawa saku, with a red jar seal (nekotsubo kao) containing Chu-yu in Chinese characters. The item is decorated in gold iro-e, hiramaki-e and silver takamaki-e cranes in a landscape, minutely detailed; the reverse with the continuous scene. It is fitted with a metal ojime formed as a skilfully executed shell. The wooden katabori netsuke has the form of a landscape showing pavilions crowded with people, set among rocks and overhanging trees. This set is an elegantly crafted work and is perfectly preserved. Inagawa Senryu was a master of lacquered maki-e inrō, active in Edo. His fine works are in the world’s best collections.

History of the Object
In his modernization process, the Meiji Emperor founded Kobu Bijutsu Gakko, the first art school ever established by the government in Japan. Three Italian artists were invited to teach the western arts. Among them the well-known sculptor Vincenzo Ragusa (1841-1927). During his stay (1876-1882), Ragusa was captivated by Japanese artistic aptitude and technical skills and gathered an important collection with the aim of starting a museum with an annexed workshop in his home town, Palermo, a place where youth could learn shapes and styles of Japanese manufacture.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
wood, lacquer, silk, metal 
Measurements
Width 4.2 cm. Length 6.1 cm.  
Creator name
Inagawa 
Creator date
18th-19th cent. 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
18th Century - 19th Century; about 1800 
Function
 
Acquisition
From the collection of Vincenzo Ragusa, 1916 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Francesco de Feo, Loretta Paderni Photo: Giorgio Bronchi, Fabio Naccari ©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma State property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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