A large and impressive Meiji period bronze bison by Sano Takachika for the Kakuha Company, the animal powerfully modelled with his head low and turned slightly to the left and with a naturalistic shaggy pelt, on a shaped rootwood stand, stamped Sano Takachika 佐野隆親 and Kakuha 角羽. Japanese, circa 1900.
Sano Takachika probably started out in the metalworking center of Takaoka, home of the Kakuha family. By 1894 he was a member of the Tōkyō Chōkōkai (Tokyo Carvers’ Association) and won a Second Class Diploma at the 27th Spring Exhibition of the Nihon Bijutsu Kyōkai (Japan Art Association). Noted for his lifelike portrayals of birds and animals there are several works by Takachika in the Khalili Collection. In addition, the Japanese collection formed by the noted English connoisseur, Mr Michael Tomkinson, and published in 1898, included a silver eagle and bronze snake on the trunk of a tree by Takachika.
The Kakuha family had been engaged in metal work and retail pharmacies for many generations in Takaoka (Etchu Province), Toyama Prefecture. They opened a decorative metalwork retail shop in the port town of Yokohama for the export market. The studio often commissioned artists like Sano Takachika.
Oliver Impey and Malcom Fairley, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Japanese Art, vol.2, Metalwork Part I, London, The Kibo Foundation, 1995, cat. nos. 120–122.
Michael Tomkinson, A Japanese Collection, London, George Allen, 1898, p.65.