Namikawa Yasuyuki Meiji Period Cloisonné
Appraised Value: $6,500 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:37)
Bonhams & Butterfields, SF
APPRAISER: You told me that you found these in an estate sale.
GUEST: It was just about five years ago, and, uh... the person had a career in the military and had traveled the world over and had been to Japan and China, and I had lived in Japan for three years in the early '70s and I just love Asian things and I picked them up. And we think they're Namikawa, but I don't know. There were several artists by that name, so I'm not sure which one.
APPRAISER: Well, you're right. You can see the signature down here that reads "Kyoto, Namikawa." There were two famous artists: Namikawa Yasuyuki and Namikawa Sosuke. Both of these were born at the later part of the Edo period in the 1840s, 1850s. And Namikawa Yasuyuki, who lived in Kyoto, is the artist of both of these pieces.
GUEST: Oh, wonderful.
APPRAISER: They're Meiji period, 1868 to 1912, but basically I would put these at around 1890. This one is particularly striking. If you look at it closely with the... you know, the crashing waves, it's really a very unique motif in his design work. Beautifully executed. And what's amazing is that you found these in an estate setting... that they're in such impeccable condition. You have a little dent in the rim here, but other than that, both this piece and the incense burner here-- which is decorated with flowers-- are really in wonderful condition.
GUEST: I'd heard he was known for his butterflies.
APPRAISER: Yes, that's true. But the blue decoration is very, very, very rare in his work.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Yes. What did you pay for them?
GUEST: Well under $200 for both pieces.
APPRAISER: You're kidding me.
GUEST: They were there the third day of the sale, and nobody wanted them but me.
APPRAISER: Oh... What a keen eyesight you have. That's really remarkable. Well, you know, if this piece went up for auction, my auction estimate would be $4,000 to $6,000.
GUEST: Oh, really? Oh, my. My son will be pleased. He claims the blue piece.
APPRAISER: Was he with you at the time?
GUEST: Yes, he was.
APPRAISER: Ah. This piece here would bring you probably somewhere between $2,500 and $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: So for a $200 investment, you really did well.
GUEST: Oh, that's wonderful.
APPRAISER: If you didn't have that little dent in the top...
APPRAISER: It would be much more.
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