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Lot n° 146

MIYAO: A SUPERB PAIR OF PARCEL-GILT BRONZE FIGURES...

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MIYAO: A SUPERB PAIR OF PARCEL-GILT BRONZE FIGURES OF SAMURAI By the Miyao company of Yokohama, signed Miyao with seal Ei Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912) Each figure finely cast and supported on a wood stand raised on four curved feet and decorated with gilt lacquer ho-o birds and karakusa. The first figure posed looking upward with his left arm raised before him, a katana in his right hand swept down to the side. His armor is decorated in gilt with an inyo-aoi mon, a tanto tucked inside his belt, and a ho-o to the back of his billowing robe. The second figure standing in heavy armor, his helmet slung from his shoulders, a tanto in his belt, a mitsuba-aoi mon on his chest, his robe decorated with superbly gilt dragons. Both warriors with neatly detailed facial features and armor. Viewed as a pair, it is easy to imagine these samurai about to engage in a fierce duel. The back of both with a rectangular reserve incised with the signature MIYAO with seal EI (for Eisuke). HEIGHT each (the figures only) 20.2 cm, HEIGHT each (including the base) 24 cm WEIGHT (total including bases) 3,205 g Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, the weapons in the hand of the second samurai lost. Compare with other superb examples from the Miyao oeuvre illustrated in The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Important Japanese Art from the Meiji period, Metalwork, Part II, nos.109 and 110. Richly-cast figures recalling the days when Japan was dominated by Shoguns, Daimyo and their samurai were a favorite theme for the Miyao workshop and were certainly one of the most successful sellers to a Western clientele hungry for objects which reflected Japan's illustrious past. Auction comparison: Compare to a closely related single gilt-bronze figure of a warrior by Miyao, measuring 27.5 cm, sold at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, 6 November 2012, London, lot 507 ( sold for 16,250 GBP).