A LARGE JAPANESE MYOCHIN ARTICULATED IRON MODEL OF A SNAKE, JIZAI OKIMONO EDO OR MEIJI PERIOD, 18TH OR 19TH CENTURY Realistically modelled, the very long and fully articulated body constructed of a multitude of triangular hammered plates simulating scales, the head with a hinged jaw opening to reveal a movable forked tongue, the eyes in shakudo, signed Myochin underneath the jaw, 127cm. Provenance: from a private collection of jizai okimono. See Japanese Works of Art, 12th November 2019, lot 325, for an articulated model of a dragon fish and 14th November 2018, lot 1007, for a jizai okimono of a snake signed Muneyoshi sold in these rooms and from the same collection. See the Victoria & Albert Museum, access. no. M.39-1947 for another iron articulated model of a snake signed When the Meiji restoration of 1868 forbade samurai from openly wearing swords, metalwork artists had to find alternative markets to avoid bankruptcy. Some turned towards producing everyday objects for the upper classes such as the Komai family, and others specialised in making okimono: ornaments for display. The Myochin family specialised in jizai okimono which are a subcategory of fully articulated metal sculptures, often depicting animals.

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