November 5, 04:06 PM GMT
8,000 - 10,000 GBP
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
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)