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Cloisonné with silky touch

Roseberys’ sale of Chinese, Japanese & South East Asian Art on November 8-9 includes this pair of 4½in (12cm) cloisonné vases made by the master, Hayashi Kodenji.

Cloisonné is easily damaged, so it is rare to find such vases in this condition, almost perfectly preserved in silk-lined boxes for much of their lives. Both vases, finely decorated in gold and silver wire with a bird amid bamboo sprays, on a dark blue ground, are signed to the bases.

Estimate £3000-5000.


In painstaking detail


A miniature chestnut-form box and cover by Shibata Zeshin (1807-91), estimated at £5000-6000 at Bonhams.

Bonhams’ November 3 sale, Patient Detail, Perfect Design: Japanese Art across the Centuries features more than 400 lots in a wide variety of media and styles. The painstaking craft of maki-e, decoration with precious metal flakes and powders sprinkled onto lacquer, is represented by several dozen pieces dating from the 18th century to the prewar period.

This miniature chestnut-form box and cover with chestnut-shaped ojime and netsuke is by Shibata Zeshin (1807-91), widely considered the greatest lacquerer of all time.

Estimate £5000-6000.


Product of the great Namikawa Yasuyuki


Meiji koro or incense burner by the workshop of Namikawa Yasuyuki, c.1910-15, estimated at £6000-8000 at Woolley & Wallis.

This Meiji koro or incense burner was made at the great cloisonné enamel workshop of Namikawa Yasuyuki, c.1910- 15.

It is decorated in polychrome enamels and gold wire with two small birds flying towards flowering branches of prunus on a deep black ground. To the base is a four-character mark Kyoto Namikawa in silver wires, one used on the best pieces produced by Namikawa Yasuyuki’s workshops and possibly for those made for international exhibitions.

It has an estimate of £6000-8000 as part of the Woolley & Wallis sale of Japanese Works of Art on November 15.


Vases carry mark of a master

This pair of 9in (22cm) high Meiji damascene bronze and silver vases carry the mark of Kashima Ippu (1828-1900). A master of nunomezogan in particular who exhibited at the 1890 National Industrial Exposition, a landscape plaque by him is in the collection of Tokyo National Museum.

They come for sale at Dore & Rees in Frome, Somerset, on November 7 from the descendants of Joshua Neale with an estimate of £25,000-35,000.

Neale was a partner in Neale and West, a firm of Cardiff fish merchants established in 1885.

Following a friendship with a Japanese businessman, its fleet of steam trawlers were given Japanese names such as Fuji, Oku and Kyoto. During the First World War most of the vessels were taken over by the Admiralty, mainly for use as minesweepers, with seven lost to enemy action.


*Denotes a participant in Asian Art in London