Kagawa Katsuhiro (1853-1917) and Fujimoto Mansaku (1860-1934)
Tokyo, circa 1898
A graduated set of three silver sake cups each with a design of one of the three Shōchikubai (pine, plum and bamboo, the Three Friends of Winter). The wide shallow bowls are mounted on flared feet. The chiselled decoration is inlaid with gold.
Each signed: Katsuhiro koku (engraved by Katsuhiro) and the largest also signed: Chōyōsai (art go of Fujimoto Mansaku).
The chiselled design is by Kagawa Katsuhiro, who was born in Edo (present day Tokyo) and studied carving from the age of twelve under a maker of Noh masks later studying drawing under Shibata Zeshin, and metal work, firstly under Nomura Katsunori and then Kano Natsuo. He was appointed professor at the Tokyo Art School in 1903 and in 1906 received the title Teishitsu Gigei-in (artist to the Imperial Court).
The silver cups were made by Fujimoto Mansaku, who specialised in the Hirata school art of hammered metal (tankin). In Meiji 30 he taught tankin at Tokyo Art School, when he would have been a colleague of Katsuhiro. This is an unusual example of a collaboration between the two men.