A RARE JAPANESE LACQUER PILLAR HANGING BY KOMA YASUTADA, HASHIRA-KAKE EDO PERIOD, LATE 18TH CENTURY The tall rectangular panel decorated in gold, silver and red on a black roiro ground, depicting a beauty dressed in an ornate Western dress decorated with pearls and ribbons, a medal shaped as a Maltese cross in gold and silver tied at her waist, leaning over and smiling gently, with European-style cross-hatching executed in harigaki, a circular hanging hole above and signed Koma Yasutada saku on the edge of the panel, together with a fitted tomobako box and cover, 158cm x 11.4cm. (2) Provenance: formerly the collection of Mike and Hiroko Dean. Illustrated in M & H Dean, Nihon no Shikki, Japanese lacquer - an Exposition, no.109; also Barry Davies Oriental Art, Japanese lacquer, Nambokucho to Zeshin, The Collection of Mike and Hiroko Dean, pp.67-68, no. 67. Hashira-kake are tall panels which were used to decorate hashira, indoor pillars. Mike Dean (d.2013) was a recognised artist who, throughout his career, exhibited paintings in St Yves and across the UK. Together with his wife Hiroko, they built an important Japanese collection consisting of metalwork and lacquer wares. Mike opened Nihon Token (the Japanese sword) in Museum Street near the British Museum and worked for many years on a book dedicated to their lacquer pieces assembled over forty years. The book was published with Kyoto Shoin Publishers in the early 1980s and was entitled 'Japanese lacquer - an exhibition'. Mike and Hiroko were also close friends of Bernard Leach (1887-1979) and Shoji Hamada (1894-1978) and they loaned many of their own Leach and Hamada pieces to museums in Japan.

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