Meiji Period Iron Spiny Lobster
My father collected arms and armor, and this was always one of my favorite items.
This object was probably made by a family called the Myochin. And the Myochin were armorers that used to make armor. But it turns out, in the middle part of the 19th century, the feudal system collapsed in Japan, and there was no need for these people to do anything. And what they started to do was make tourist objects like this. And this is actually made out of iron. And it's completely articulated and absolutely naturalistic. This is an exact duplicate of the original little animal. One of the things you notice is that...
...that color is an artificial color that's been put on it to make it look even more natural. And then, if you reverse the item and you see the bottom of the piece, you can see all the little articulations and moveable parts that would be on a live lobster, but in this case, recreated in iron. Very, very finely done. And one reason why I attribute it to the Myochin is, the Myochin were so good that it doesn't seem likely too many other people could've done one of this quality. I sold another piece that was not attributable to the Myochin-- it wasn't as fine a quality. And it was a completely articulated dragon. And dragons are a much, much more common item.
I sold that for $10,000.
I would say a conservative price on this one would be $15,000.
Oh, well, great.
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