Bronze inlaid box by Kato Sogan

Japan, Meiji period, 1868 – 1912

Width: 8 1/2 inches, 21.5 cm
Height: 2 inches, 5 cm
Depth: 3 1/2 inches, 9 cm

A bronze box, both ends at the top flared upwards. The cover is made in two sections that hinge on the side. Each section has a rectangular handle and is inlaid with a lozenge composed of cream and tan squares that contain a scrolling decoration. The sides are decorated with a smaller version of the lozenge pattern. The base carries the signature of the maker. The box is preserved in its original tomobako or wooden box.

This box was originally meant for serving cigarettes. The Kyoto metal artist Kato Sogan (1899-1995) was first accepted into the national exhibitions with the 1st Shin-Bunten in 1937. He exhibited again at the Hoshukuten in 1940 and at the 4th Shin-Bunten in 1941. After the Pacific War, he returned to the national stage with the 3rd Nitten in 1947, exhibiting frequently thereafter, including at the 8th – 13th Nitten, held from 1952 to 1957.