Bisansha Picture Frame c. 1910
An exquisite antique Japanese sterling silver picture frame, signed Bisansha.
The frame measures 8¾" high x 6¼" wide, with the aperture measuring approx. 5½" by 3¾", (postcard size).
Frame is quite substantial, weighing over half a pound (9.2oz).
The hammered surface is decorated with an applied Iris motif which overhangs the border of the frame.
The flower and foliage sections of the Iris are modelled in high relief and assembled individually prior to fitting to the curved faces of the frame.
In the back view, one can see that the frame presents a 'flat' appearance - no trace of being raised or pressed.
Condition is antique and fine.
Silver content tested sterling.
Picture frame is very well preserved and has obviously been cared for over the years.
The hinged support works beautifully, and when standing, the frame is very stable.
excerpt from Handbook of information for passengers & shippers by the steamers of the Nippon yusen kaisha .. (1904)
... may often find good specimens of Makuzu porcelain at the Bisan-sha, a store in Honcho-dori.
Of late, Yokohama has distinguished itself as the principal emporium of modem Japanese silver-ware. In feudal times the Japanese were the greatest metal-sculptors in the whole world - but when, in 1876, the samurai sword union, the furniture of which most of the renowned metal-workers' efforts were expended, went finally out of use, there ensued a period of unproductiveness almost complete by comparison, metal-sculptors not having yet evolved the conception of producing articles for foreign domestic use.
So soon as the opportunities of that new field were appreciated, it was quickly exploited, and now at the celebrated old stores of Musashi-ya, and Bisan-sha in Honcho-dori, large assemblages of tea and coffee services, salvers, table ornaments, spoons, and such things may be seen, illustrating the skill and taste of the Japanese silver-smith.
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