Hidari Issan (1804-1857)
Iwashiro, circa 1840
A three case carved wood inro with a design of puppies, wild chrysanthemum amid grasses. The pudgy little creatures bring to mind Maruyama O-kyo’s paintings of plump canines. A thin layer of clear lacquer serves to protect the wood. The inner compartments are in roiro and the compartment rims in fundame.
Hidari Issan is best known for his carvings of turtles and produced a number of turtle-shaped inro, as well as dragon inro. Subjects such as puppies are relatively unusual, another example sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet’s Honolulu sale in January 1981.
Signed: Hidari Issan with ‘Toku’ kao