19th C. Japanese Meji Period Ornate Letter Opener
A beautiful Japanese page turner or letter opener from the Meji Period (1868 – 1912), notable for its astonishing displays of artistic creativity and technical virtuosity. This beautiful item features a jumping carp in high texture relief, with exquisite detail, surrounded by the spray of the ocean waves and framed by a man holding a scroll. The figure is rendered equally realistic, with great detail and beautiful line work; the wrinkles on the mans face, and his pulled back hair are depicted in this scene. The letter opener is extraordinary in its three dimensionality; if we turn the object over we can see the back of the carp tail in motion, and the back of the man standing above the sea creature. This detail is really quite wonderful and it is this kind of work that marks the unrivaled quality of Japanese craftsmanship during this time. The patina is really wonderful, with various tones, and it looks like there is more than one metal used in the construction of this object. It is the textures and the details that make this object vibrate with color. Not only is the handle of the letter opener etched, the long soft metal blade that turns the page, or opens the envelope has a variety of fish and birds swirling in the midst of a sky and ocean scene. This is a wonderful Japanese antique object, with function as well as remarkable decorative elements. It is in great condition for its age; measures 11 3/4 inches by 1 inch.
DIAMETER: 1 in | HEIGHT: 12 in
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