Sonobe Yoshitsugu 園部芳継, dated: Summer day in Bunsei (1818-1829)
Certification: Kanzan Sato
Yoshitsugu, 1755-1842, founded the Sonobe School in about
1813. His art name was Tanso. He was a student of Tanaka Yoshiaki
(Masayoshi 政芳), who
was a pupil of Goto Mitsutomo (Zenjo), of the Ribei Goto family line. The
influence is evident in this set of fittings.
The subject depicted is four of the "divine beasts" from Japanese mythology.
They are the dragon (ryu), phoenix (ho), turtle with trailing moss on its
shell (minogame), and a beast combined from several animals (kirin).
The menuki (hilt ornaments) depict the ho-bird and kirin, and are done in
shakudo, with gold and
silver details. Both pieces are unsigned (mumei).
Kogai (hair-pin) and kozuka (small knife handle) depict
the minogame, and the dragon with a jewel. Both are composed of
ground with inserted gold nanako panels having high-relief shakudo figures
with gold and silver highlights. The kogai is signed Sonobe Yoshitsugu w/kakihan (seal).
The kozuka is signed: A summer day in Bunsei (1818-1829), Tanso Yoshitsugu
This mito-koromono comes in a kiri-wood box with a letter from Dr.
Kanzan Sato, dated
April 13, 1951 declaring these
a "masterpiece" of Sonobe Yoshitsugu.