Monumental Meiji period patinated bronze koro


This patinated bronze koro is formed in the shape of a dragon and is a superb example of Meiji period Japanese craftsmanship.


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The upper section of this patinated bronze koro is of globular form and is decorated in low relief, featuring a Japanese woman standing on the curve of a dragon's back and surrounded by crashing waves, swirling clouds and flying cranes on the back. The waisted foot is delicately balanced on a fountain of water being sprayed from the mouth of a scaly dragon. The creature emerges from crashing waves which form the base of the incense burner. The shaped base also features an 8-character Japanese mark towards the dragon's foot.

This koro was crafted during a time of great industrial competition between the East and West. In the Meiji period, Japan applied traditional technology to works of art for export to Western countries. Pieces such as this incense burner were made for the great European and American international exhibitions, where they won great acclaim. Bronze-casters from all over Japan adapted the existing traditions of bronze manufacture for temple fittings and flower containers to produce an impressive range of exhibition pieces that combine exaggerated features borrowed from early Chinese work with a wealth of exotic decoration.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Japanese Interest, Meiji
Patinated Bronze
Black, Brown, Metallic


221 cm / 87 inches
97 cm / 38.2 inches
57 cm / 22.4 inches


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