Bronze models of Mandarin ducks by Itasaka Tatsuji

Japan, Showa period, 1926 – 1989

Height: 3 1/8 and 4 inches, 8 and 10 cm
Length: 5 1/2 and 6 7/8 inches, 14 and 17.5 cm

Two bronze models of a Mandarin duck and a drake, worked in a highly stylised fashion with openwork eyes. The surface is delicately patinated a rich brown, almost black tone. Both sculptures are signed on the base Tatsu.

The artist name Tatsu (or Tatsu-ji) belongs to Itasaka Tatsuji (1916-1983), born in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa prefecture. In 1938 he graduated from the metal-chasing department of the Tokyo School of Arts (now Tokyo University of Fine Arts). He studied metal chasing under Shimizu Kamez. (1875-1948) and metal casting under the notable metal craftsman Takamura Toyochika (1890-1972). In 1948, in order to promote the local art crafts industry, he founded the “R Crafts Exhibition” group.