Shibata Zeshin masterpieces star in Misumi Collection auction


2015-06-26 13:53:59


Shibata Zeshin masterpieces star in Misumi Collection auction

Bonhams offers lacquer works of art by Shibata Zeshin, an artist favoured by collectors

Bonhams will sell masterpieces from Japanese artist Shibata Zeshin as part of its sale of the Misumi Collection of Important Works of Lacquer Art and Paintings on November 5 in London.

Shibata Zeshin Lacquer PanelShibata Zeshin isn't popular in Japan, though Western collectors eagerly snap up his quintessentially Japanese works

The auction is highlighted by the Zeshin works, nine of which featured in a 2012 exhibition at Tokyo's Nezu Museum.

Leading bids is a rare lacquer panel created in 1883, which shows scenes from a Noh play and is based on canvas painting in the West, which were becoming popular in Japan at the time. A stunning piece in silver on black, it is estimated to bring up to 120,000 ($194,895).

Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) was a famous artist in Japan, though he was generally regarded as both too modern, due to catering for Western tastes, and a traditionalist who did not stand out.

He is highly regarded in the West today, with collectors paying top prices for his quintessentially Japanese style.

He is best known for his intricate inro (miniature cases, used for holding objects such as medicine), and several examples will feature in the sale. Highlighting is an inro in the form of a rustic hut, which contains a box depicting Shoki the Demon-queller.

A noted piece among collectors, it is valued at 60,000-80,000 ($98,804-129,072).

A Shibata Zeshin work currently holds the record for an inro sold at auction, with an example valued at 20,000-30,000 selling for 301,250 ($486,037)at Bonhams in 2012.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive more exciting news on art and antiques auctions.

Your collecting

View our stock items for sale | Portfolios for sale

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.