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Eleven Turtles
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Eleven Turtles


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Turtles were attractive as display objects in Japan because they were seen as symbols of long life and happiness. These appear to be cast from actual specimens of the semi-aquatic species Mauremys Japonica. Each was cast separately, then pinned to the others. Murata Seimin was highly acclaimed as a master metal caster and was famous for these turtles. According to legend, the turtles that he used were alive, and one of his heirs suffered a painful death because of the turtles' curse.
Conservation

Examined

Exhibitions
  • The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Kay Collection Sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 1913 (?); William T. Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1884 [pictured in 1884 gallery photograph] [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions bunsei nen seimin chu; [Translation] Cast by Seimin, Bunsei era (1818-29)
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, before 1884

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Period
ca. 1818-1829 (late Edo)
Medium
cast bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.1376
Measurements
H: 5 7/8 × W: 14 9/16 × D: 12 in. (14.9 × 37 × 30.5 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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