43 Japanese Netsuke
A tray for sencha, the matte brownish-black lacquer ground finely carved with a design of a dragon and tiger. The tiger curves its body against a rocky cliff with waves breaking at its feet. Its back is arched and long tail swishes in anger as it snarls ferociously at a rain dragon swooping down from the clouds, gusts of wind suggesting the speed of its furious descent. inscribed on the tray: Koryū with seal: Koryūsai. The hakogaki with the inscription: 黒艶消、画箋盆、壱面。鳳至舟掛宗四郎作、植村一所蔵。Kuro tsuyakeshi, gasen-bon, ichimen, Hōshi Funakake Sōshirō saku, Uemura Hajime shozo [Matte black finish, tray for paper (for calligraphy/ painting), one item, made by Funakake Sōshirō, art name Hōshi, in a collection of Uemura Hajime]
Funakake Sōshirō did much to promote the lacquer ware of Wajima to the West. Descended from a family of lacquer artists who specialised in chinkinbori (gold filled engraving), he himself developing the chinkin-zogan technique of rubbing gold into engraved grooves of lacquer. His work is represented in the collection of Wajima Museum of Urushi Art.