Komai Compact Mirror with Origami Cranes, early 20th century


Title: Komai Compact Mirror with Origami Cranes
Date: early 20th century
Diametre: 7.5 cm

Traditional vintage Japanese Komai compact mirror plated over brass, with iron inserts containing 24k gold and silver designs inlaid with cranes. With powder puff inside.

Original Japanese antique. 

The Meiji period brought many cultural changes to Japan after the country opened its doors to the West, as well as structural changes to the government, with it. What most critically impacted the arts, was the new ruling outlawing the carrying of swords by samurai. This ruling suddenly put swordsmiths and sword furniture artisans into a tight spot, as they lost most of their clientele. As a result, the Komai family, like many others, had to find another form of livelihood.

Luckily, these swordsmithing and metalworking skills could be used to produce a variety of items. Upon realising this, craftsmen started making various every-day metal objects that featured inlays. Among these objects are vases, mirrors, cigarette/tobacco cases, make-up cases, cufflinks and jewellery, mostly made for export and taking the shape of Western items. Komai Otojiro devoted himself to make higher-quality pieces for national or foreign exhibition to establish the Komai brand. His works were shown at foreign exhibitions, being very well received. Komai items were only produced for a limited amount of time and today they are rare collectibles.

More Information
Dimensions7.5 cm
Condition ReportWear and light scratches.
SubjectAnimal & Birds
Product Dateearly 20th century