Project Description

A Remarkable Early Metal Inlaid Lacquer Inro

The slim and small inro of four cases with roiro ground, one side with Watanabe no Tsuna racing from the Rashomon Gate with drawn sword, chasing the demon which flees, carrying its severed arm, on the other face. The demon is entirely of copper with additions of silver and gold, the hero is lacquered with inlaid silver details, and there are other inlays of shell

Signed makie shigetsugu [for the lacquer] and horimono masayuki/shōzui [for the metal]. Circa 1750

6.1 cm

Although the top has numerous ojime dents and there are visible old  but inoffensive restorations to the cord runners, and the top and bottom edges, in general this is in remarkable condition. Shōzui (1696-1769)was the founder of the Hamano school of sword fitting makers


Henri  Vever collection, sold in his sale at Sotheby’s  London, 24th October 1972, lot 41

E.A. Wrangham collection (no. 1186)

​Bonhams London, Wrangham Collection I, lot 325