Miniature silver vase

Japan, Showa period, 1960’s

Height: 3 1⁄4 inches, 8.5 cm
Width: 2 3⁄4 inches, 7 cm

A miniature silver vase of ovoid form with slightly recessed base. The surface of the vase has been hammered to create unequal pentagonal shapes with rounded edges, recessed into the surface. The hammering effect has created a vein­-like pattern around the vase. The mouth of the vase is perfectly circular. The base is stamped with the mark jungin (pure silver). With the original tomobako, inscribed on the top kago kinoko kabin, meaning flower basket with mushroom design.


The five-sided shape apparent on the surface of the vase could, as the tomobako suggests, represent a bird’s eye view of a mushroom. The mushroom symbolises longevity in Asia and is often used for medicinal purposes.