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Gold Gotō Shishi Menuki

Solid gold menuki of pairs of frolicking shishi (Nihiki Shishi-zu 二疋獅子図).  The menuki are carved in a technique known as Katachi-bori (容彫), whereby the subject itself becomes the outline of the menuki, and fine surface carving and finishing from the front.  The menuki have considerable height, and are thick-walled, with considerable niku or body.  The gold has a nice deep yellow color and some reddish oxidation, generally suggestive of age.

The workmanship and attention to detail however is very high, with particular emphasis applied to the billowy fur of the tails and legs.  The posts on the back of the menuki are unusually thin and the finishing of the edges is excellent.  Definitely mainline Gotō work and relatively early, but difficult to ascribe to a specific maker with confidence. 

Translation of the NBTHK Hozon paper description follows:

二疋獅子図目貫  (Nihiki Shishi-zu menuki)

無銘 後藤   (Mumei  Gotō)

金無垢地 (Kin-Mukuji)

容彫  (Katachi-bori)

Heisei 29th year (2017) May 10th


Measurements: 3.4cm x 1.6cm x 0.6cm

Edo Period (江戸時代), 17th century



Goto Shishi Menuki Composite_1300px 

Goto Shishi Menuki Boxed_1300px 

Goto Shishi Menuki Papers_900px 



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