THE PROPERTY OF AN ITALIAN GENTLEMAN
A NANBAN LACQUER SHOKENDAI [LECTERN], MOMOYAMA PERIOD, LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY
constructed from two assembled and hinged planks of softwood, decorated overall in gold hiramaki-e on a black lacquer ground and inlaid in mother-of-pearl, now well worn the centre with sunburst and IHS emblem of the Society of Jesus, surrounded by a border of hanabishi, the reverse in black lacquer with an Italian family crest in gold added in Europe and floral sprays
46 cm., 18 in. high
- As can be seen in the illustration, this is in very poor condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
For further examples of this particular type of Nanban lacquer, made in Japan for use by the Jesuit clergy, see Kyoto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan [Kyoto National Museum], Maki-e, shikkoku to ogon no Nihonbi [The beauty of black and gold Japanese lacquer] (Kyoto, 1995), cat. nos. 139-140; Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Art Namban: Les Portugais au Japon/Nambankunst: Portugezen in Japan (Brussels, 1989), cat. nos. 35-42 and William Watson (ed.), The Great Japan Exhibition: Art of the Edo Period (London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1981), cat. no. 151.
The shape and construction of these Japanese lecterns was almost certainly derived from Goanese carved wood originals although equally there is evidence to suggest that the form is based on an Islamic prototype. A number of them can be found in Portugal. An example is illustrated in Inventario Artistico de Portugal (Distrio de Santarem), Lisbon 1949 (pl. CXXXV) as is another carved wood and gilt example in the Church of Nossa Senhora da Purificacao, do Olival (pl. CLXXI)