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Vase with the Warrior Yoshitsune
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Vase with the Warrior Yoshitsune


Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This vase was formed from a segment of a large elephant tusk, carved in very high relief and set into a base of bronze and silver. The scene is from the life of Minamoto Yoshitsune (1159-1189), who is depicted on horseback surrounded by his loyal retainers. They all look out toward the sea as a storm rages against them. Gusts of wind are carved into the ivory above, while the surging water is depicted in the metal base below. Mounted on a horse, the 12th-century warrior Yoshitsune, spurned by his brother- for whom Yoshitsune's military prowess had secured the rule of Japan- prepared to leave the country by sea. But the stormy weather prevents his departure. The vase is said to have been commissioned by the Japanese government in a period when the carvers of ivory "netsuke" were faced with the loss of a market, due to the adoption of Western dress.
Exhibitions
  • Centennial Exhibition Philadelphia. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, Philadelphia. 1876.
Provenance Japanese Delegation to the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, 1876; Egyptian sector; William T. Walters, Baltimore, before 1896, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Komei saku (Komei in)
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, before 1896

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Period
ca. 1880 (Meiji)
Medium
carved ivory in high relief with a silver liner, copper alloy base, and gold
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.1080
Measurements
H with base: 21 1/8 x W: 11 3/8 x D: 9 7/16 in. (53.7 x 28.9 x 24 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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