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Kaga Gotō Dragon Menuki

Very robust, well carved solid gold menuki of crawling dragons motif (Hairyū-zu 這龍図).  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.  The retention posts on the back are tall and thick, which is generally suggestive of greater age.  One of the dragons clutches a magical jewel or magatama in its claws, and a sword protrudes from its tail - per Japanese creation mythology.

Kaga Gotō school was initiated after Gotō Tokujō (5th Shirobei or mainline master), was released from service by Tokugawa Ieyasu, as he had worked for Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  Following this rebuke,Tokujō's son, Gotō Kenjō, as well as his cousin Gotō Kakujō, moved to Kaga province.  There they trained artisans for the Kaga Daimyo. Kenjō continued to travel back and forth between Kaga and Kyoto, thus maintaining cohesion between the two branches of the family. Gotō Teijō (9th Shirobei master) moved to Kaga as well, thus strengthening the Kaga school.  The craftsmanship of the Kaga Gotō school was often on par with that of the mainline Shiorbei Gotō school due to the direct tutelage of Kenjō, Kakujō and Teijō.

Translation of the Tokubetsu Hozon paper description follows:

這龍図目貫  (Hairyū-zu menuki)

無銘 加賀後藤  (Mumei  Kaga-Gotō)

金無垢地 (Kin-Mukuji)

容彫  (Katachi-bori)

Reiwa 1st year (2020) January 26th

 

Measurements: 4.8cm x 1.9cm x 0.6cm

Weight: 20.9 grams (both menuki)

Edo Period (江戸時代), 17th century

$3,000

 

Kaga Goto Dragon Menuki Obv Vert_1200px 

Kaga Goto Dragon Menuki Rev Vert_1200px 

Kaga Goto Dragon Hozon Paper_900px 

 

 

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