Metalworker: Miyabe Atsuyoshi
Approximate size: W5.9″ by H5.5″ or 15.0 by 14.0 cm,
Approximate weight: 2 kg
This uncommon copper incense burner was made by Miyabe Atsuyoshi, who was one of the most prolific and greatest metalworkers of 20th century Japan. It is large and heavy, featuring a nature scene of a hawk observing smaller birds amongst the leaves and branches. The knob on the lid is a small bird that appears to be hiding under foliage, it is undoubtedly aware of the hawk. A finely decorated incense burner created from high quality metal and is unusual for this artist. The piece has gained a very nice patina over the years and needs to be cherished.
Miyabe Atsuyoshi played an active part during the Meiji period, working hard to keep the art of metalworking alive and prospering. During that time the field was in decline and it is is due to artists like this one it has managed to survive and in modern times of peace appears to be thriving.
His works have been sold by auction houses like Christie’s, Bonhams, Sotheby’s and many others. His works are also held by public collections, private collections and museums around the world. One of the formerly mentioned auction houses auctioned a pair of decorated mixed metal vases by this artist with a hammer price well over thirty-seven thousand pounds, attesting to Miyabe Atsuyoshi’s mastery over the craft.
Miyabe Atsuyoshi is recorded in Wakayama Takeshi 若山猛, Kinko jiten 金工事典 (Dictionary of Metalworkers), Tokyo, Token Shunju Shinbunsha 刀剣春秋新聞社, 1999, p.1141, as a maker of sword- fittings and a pupil of Shinoyama Tokuoki (1813-1891), active in Kyoto during the late Edo period and early Meiji era.Bonhams Auctioneers
Miyabe Atsuyoshi was master bronze smith who lived in Kyoto. He exhibited domestically and internationally at the turn of the twentieth century. Of note is his entry in the 1904 World’s Fair, held in St. Louis.
Condition is excellent and patina exquisite and original. It does not carry any smell which means it most likely had not been used before I purchased it. Signed on the base with chiselled characters ‘Dai Nihon Kyoto no ju Ikkodo Miyabe Atsuyoshi 大日本京都住一光堂宮部篤良’ with a kao. Does not come with a box. I can provide a soft quality fabric cloth to ensure this piece is protected at all times when not in use or on display. An uncommon incense burner from one of the greats.