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Ryurikyo Style Flower Basket by Hosai

Hosai / 鳳斎
dates unknown

Ryurikyo Style Flower Basket

26.5 x 41 x 26.5 cm

10.4 x 16 x 10.4 in

Original box signed and sealed by Hosai 
Original  lacquered water container

In style and character, this fine basket appears to be a work of an excellent Kansai-area artist. In a strangely common curiosity of bamboo art, however, no biographical information on its maker is available.


We can therefore only regard this basket on its own terms: a beautiful and elegant work in a re-interpreted karamono style. Certainly it speaks to the classical sencha tea aesthetic. The box inscription indicates that it is in the Ryurikyo style, the style of Yanagisawa Ryurikyo (1703 – 1758), a distinguished mid-Edo period poet and painter well known for his depictions of hanging flower baskets.

Here the open hexagonal weave beneath the rim is particularly elegant, creating an airy middle-field between the mat-plaited lower section and the great curving space of the hobichiku handle. The rattan work is very fine throughout: on the delicate brim, the handle and verticals. These different patterns and spaces create the unusual proportions and spacing of this basket. The handle arcing above brings a magical balance to the whole.

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