Sunday, May 13, 2012


I need to confess: I have the habit --which I am working to overcome --of discounting that "little voice in my head", that nudge from God that pushes me to purchase, design or even to avoid certain situations and pay attention to others. I have the habit of not paying attention to The Tao's (Holy Spirit's) gentle inspiration/pushes---I'm not sure quite why. Perhaps it's a lack of faith, feeling a bit unworthy of receiving blessings, not trusting myself. But I'm definitely in process and am paying more attention to inspiration.

Anyway, taking into consideration "my confession", I fell in love with this lacquered Hibachi more than three months ago when another dealer brought it in. Every time I have gone upstairs, I have passed and admired the Hibachi--saying to myself: "I really want it; don't think I can make a profit if I buy it; where will I display it; don't have the client base, etc..... Well, on Thursday, I decided that I would do a little research on lacquered 19th c. Japanese Hibachi. Yikes!!!!! Yes, I can make a profit! Yes, I know how to display it........ In other words, I finally paid attention to that voice in my head nudging me to go deeper. Friday morning I made an offer and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, it was accepted.......Yes, there is definitely a profit margin. But most importantly I opened The Gift that was being offered to me. (I wonder just exactly how many gifts I have been given and refused to open or discounted my worthiness?) Yes, it took me three months to get the message, but I finally grew and stretched enough to listen.

Just a few detail photos of the Hibachi and information. This Hibachi dates to the early/mid Meiji Period (1868-1912) and is very large at 23" x 23". The original copper basin for holding the charcoal is present and the wood bases is beautifully detailed in dark brown/almost black lacquer with a gilt detailing  of scrolling vines and ferns. The corners are embellished with beautifully hand chased brass work and the side corners are braced with the chased brass. The lacquer is in very good overall condition considering the piece's age and the intended purpose.


Now a few details about Japanese Hibachi that I have just discovered. I have loved and purchased Japanese and Chinese lacquer work for many years; so I am marginally familiar with this form of art. The Hibachi or "fire bowl" is a traditional Japanese heating method which consists of a round or box-shaped vessel made from or lined with fire resistant material. It is believed that the use of the Hibachi dates back to the Heian Period (798-1185 AD). Hibachi were originally intended for the use of the aristocratic and Samurai classes; over time its use was extended to the lower classes. There were many different forms of Hibachi, with the more elaborate--lacquer and gilt work, as well as the more artistic forms being reserved for the aristocratic and Samurai classes.

Because of its very large size and great condition I envision this Hibachi being used as a focal point on a large round center table or console and filled with blooming phalaenopsis orchids and ferns. I believe that this form would integrate well with both a modern minimalist aesthetic or a traditional, antiques filled room.

Roberto is going to spiff up the Hibachi and I will add a couple of updated photos in a follow up post.

I hope that everyone is enjoying a fantastic Mother's Day--here in Southern California, the weather is gorgeous: 75* with sun and no humidity. Thanks for coming with me on the hunt.  Sending blessings.......

Mary and Jones (and Cole)

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