A spectacular pair of Meiji period multi-metal vases signed Inoue of Kyoto

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Object Description

A stunning pair of Japanese mixed multi metal overlaid bronze vases dating from the reign of Emperor Meiji. Both vases overlaid with silver, shakudo and other precious metals depicting pheasants, flowering blossoms, seascapes and Mount Fuji. On the neck, Ho Ho birds (Phoenix) fly amongst the blossom and butterflies form the decoration at the base.

Signed Inoue Company of Kyoto

Condition – Excellent

Object History


The pheasant is an important bird in the Shinto religion, it is a messenger for Amaterasu the sun goddess and as such is seen a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.

Mount Fuji

Fuji is a stratovolcanic mountain, it is 3775 meters tall and the 35th tallest mountain in the world. It is praised for it’s attractive symmetry which has made it the subject of many poems and works of art. It is an important symbol of Japan and has huge significance in the Shinto religion, there are many shrines at the base and on the acsent of Fuji, they honor Princess Konohanasakuya the Kami (Deity) who’s symbol is cherry blossom.

Phoenix (ho-ho)

The phoenix is a powerful symbol in Japan, used to represent the Empress. When used to decorate an object or house it symbolises the loyalty and honesty of the people that live there, traditionally a phoenix only stays when a ruler is without corruption.

Shakudo is an alloy of gold and copper which can be treated to develop a black patina.

Object Condition


Object Details

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By appointment only.

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Dealer Location

7 Pierrepont Row
(Off Camden Passage)
N1 8EE

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