A LARGE JAPANESE SILVER PUNCH-BOWL BY Y. KONOIKE, YOKOHAMA JAPAN
Decorated with iris and marked “Pure silver Y. Konoike Yokohama Japan”, circa 1900
Diam. 36.7 x H. 19.5 cm
Weight 4.032 grams
By the time this bowl was made, around 1900, Japanese crafts had undergone three decades of dramatic change. In 1868 the feudal rule came to an end, and a period of modernization along western lines started. Old systems of patronage disappeared, and traditional objects became obsolete. Artisans turned their skills to the making of decorative objects for the expanding export market. The silversmith Konoike was one such craftsman, based in the trading port of Yokohama, making silver objects fostering the late 19th-century craze for all things Japanese, particularly in England and France. A late 19th-century silver teapot by Konoike, commissioned by Liberty and Company, is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.