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Japanese Antique Abumi (Stirrups), Butterfly Crest

Japanese Antique Abumi (Stirrups), Butterfly Crest

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Metalwork: Pre 1800: Item # 712335
Asian Art By Kyoko
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A pair of Japanese lacquered iron abumi (stirrups) decorated with gold lacquer on a roiro ground. It has butterfly family crests (mon) in the center of a scrolling leaf and flower border, the interior in red lacquer.

The butterfly design was a favorite among the aristocrats and was seen in their belongings, ox-carts and attire during the Heian period (794-1192). They were also seen in armor of the Heike (Taira family) before power was shifted to the Genji (Minamoto family) samurai. It was adopted by the samurai (especially the descendents whose families were related to the Heike clan) during the Kamakura to Edo period as their family crests. The Fujiwara family also used butterflies for their gracious appearance for their family crests

The lacquer work is very good; thick, smooth and shiny but has some hairline cracks, scratches and chips on the lacquer. Approx. 10 1/2" high, 5 1/8" wide (at the widest), 11 1/2" long (from the tip of the front to the end of foot). It weigh 4 1/4 pounds. Edo period (probably 17th/early 18th century).