Kogai: Octopus fighting Monkey
Signature/mei: Takase Eiju
Material: shibuichi, shakudo, silver, copper, gold
Era/jidai: late Edo period
Dimension: 21.2 cm x 1.24 cm
Papers: (at shinsa)
Price: on request
A shibuichi kogai made by the famous mito artist Takase Eiju.
An octopus and two monkeys are put on the nanoko base. The octopus is made of copper while the monkeys are made of shakudo and what appears to be silver. The monkeys faces are accented with copper and their eyes are made of gold, like the eyes of the octopus. All the carvings are very delicate, Takase Eiju shows us how much detail can be represented in a small space. Since this kogai has a beautiful tapering, the appearance is rather elegant. As I’m not sure about the design, I believe this kogai was worn by an older samurai who didn’t need a “flashy” kogai but something to reflect something personal to him. Maybe the NBTHK will tell us more about the name of the design as the kogai is on the way to shinsa.