Large bronze vase
by Takahashi Ryoun
Japan, Meiji period, circa 1900
A very large bronze vase of bottle form, the sides tapered outwards and surmounted by a long, cylindrical neck that terminates in a widely flaring neck. The bronze is completely undecorated and covered in an attractive brown patina. It is signed on the base: Takahashi Ryoun.
The artist Takahashi Ryoun lived in Tokyo and was active from the late Meiji period into the early Showa era; from circa 1900 to 1920. He graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and was famed for his skill in bronze casting. The Tokyo Casting Association lists him as a designated special member, a ranking reserved only for the best artists. He became particularly well known for his work with animal subjects and for adding animal detail to vases, so it is likely that the present vase is an early work by the artist. He exhibited his works at the Paris Great Exposition in 1900: three pieces were entered in the Exhibition Catalogue Two (Q 107, 161, 175), and one piece was exhibited in the Award Winning Catalogue. His work can be found in the Museum of the Japanese Imperial Collections (Sannomaru Shozō-kan) in Tokyo.