WATER BUG VASE

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WATER BUG VASE

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A Japanese cast hakudō  (white bronze with a high silver content) cylindrical vase with water bug design. The stylized bugs with inlaid shakudo eyes on squiggling lines of water. Signed on the base with a chiseled signature of the artist: Shihō (Watanabe Shihō, born 1896). Watanabe Shihō studied metal casting under Ōshima Joun at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music), where he later became a professor as well. He exhibited frequently prior to the Pacific War at the government-sponsored Teiten and Shin-Bunten exhibitions. His work is in the collections of the Tokyo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art. With the tomobako or original box, inscribed on the exterior of the lid: Amenbo Mon Hana-ire or Water Bug Motif Flower Vase; and on the reverse signed: Shihō, and sealed: Shihō
Shōwa era, circa 1950 – 1960  
10” high x 2 ½” diameter

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