Bronze basin, by Nakajima Yasumi II (1905­-1986)

Japan, Showa period, 1960’s

Length: 14 3⁄4 inches, 37.5 cm
Width: 12 5⁄8 inches, 32 cm
Height: 12 inches, 5 cm

A bronze geometrically shaped low basin for flower arranging. The heavy bronze basin is of irregular rectangular shape with flat handles to either side. The handles have a wavy edge, which is slightly raised, and have matching wave­like incisions. The basin is otherwise completely unadorned and has a dark brown patina with areas of black dappling all over. The base is signed with the artist characters: Yasumi.


The artist who made this unusual and attractive low basin for flower arranging is Nakajima Yasumi II, born in Osaka as the eldest son of the well ­known metal artist Yasumi I. Yasumi II graduated from the National Crafting School of Sendai (Kokuritsu Sendai kogei shidosho) and in 1933 he exhibited for the first time at the Export Crafts exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (Shokosho yushutsu kogeiten). He exhibited several times outside Japan, at the Grande Salon de Paris and also at the Export Trading Exhibition in Buenos  Aires, Argentina. He participated numerous times in the Nitten exhibitions and in 1952 won the prestigious North Star award (Hokuto-­sho). In 1969 he received an honour as a person of merit in Crafts from Osaka prefecture.

  1. Tse Bartholomew, T., Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Musuem, San Francisco, 2006, 7.55.1, p. 221
  2. Z heng, M.Z. ed., Small Refined Articles of the Study-The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Shanghai kexue jishu chubanshe, Shanghai, 2009, no. 88, p. 120