A Very Fine Takamaki-e Lacquer Cheroot Case in the Manner of Shibata Zeshin
The 'ishime' lacquered case consisting of two conforming molded sections with one sliding overtop the other, both sides decorated with hand painted gilt, silver & burnt dark russet (kasshoku) lacquers, depicting motifs in low relief of a rat with an acorn on one side and two acorns on the opposing.
In Japanese culture rats are considered auspicious symbols of fertility & wealth, whereas acorns symbolize prosperity & growth. Signed with characters and a mon.
SHIBATA ZESHIN (1807-1891) was a master lacquer craftsman and is regarded as perhaps the most famous & accomplished lacquer artist of the late Edo / early Meiji Periods, with examples of his work on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.