Kubo Shunman: New year’s surimono with tobacco pipe, pouch and netsuke (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Kubo Shunman (1757-1820)
Title: New year’s surimono with tobacco pipe, pouch and netsuke
Date: ca. 1810

Dimensions: 19.4 x 27.2 cm

Surimono of a kiseru pipe, tobacco pouch and netsuke with a cord fastened with an ojime bead. The kiseru pipe has a piece of red cloth tied in the middle. This cloth has pattern of stylized waves in shibori dye technique. The tobacco pouch seems to be an example of embossed gilt leather, a technique that originated in the Netherlands in the early 17th century and was being produced in Japan by the 19th century. It has a European-style pattern and is tied with a cord to a round netsuke. The first poem by Kumoi Tsukimaru describes children who are supposed to collect the nanakusa (seven) plants for a traditional meal for the seventh day of New Year. The children however were carried away with playing and had forgotten about collecting. Their baskets remains empty on the way home. The seven plants are believed to keep illness away. The second poem by Maruuchi Shûkei (?) writes about plum and bush warbler. The third poem by Renba-an Haruki refers to wakamizu, the first fresh water drawn from a well on the New Year. This ceremonially scooped water was used for cooking in order to keep healthy. The third poem by Tôteijin (?) writes about plum blossoms as daimyo of the flowers in Edo. The last poem by Sensô-an, the leader of Asakusa Group, refers the veil of the fragrance of plum blossoms which covers the moon and stars.

Literature: See “The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection of Surimono”, number 52, page 168 for a very similar design. There is also a Shunman surimono of a similar smoking arrangement in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Seal: Shunman (in red seal)