A large gin bari cloisonne button depicting three snowy egrets against a background with shades of green, the whole with a silver surround and backing. When viewed from the side, the button has an intentionally undulating shape, making it highly unusual. The side is hallmarked and there appear to be other markings. Excellent condition with no issues, and any apparent imperfections are due to reflections in the photo. The diameter is 1 3/8".
1. Buttons of this type, a pure Japanese creation, were primarily done in the late 19th century, and the subjects display the Japanese elegance and simplicity in depicting nature oriented themes, with asymmetrical designs showing flowers, trees, birds, fish, etc.
2. The background upon which the enameling is done is silver (the Japanese word for silver is "gin"). The metal can be worked in a number of different ways, such as stamping, crinkling, incised, or a combination of these. This gives the subject matter a feeling of three dimensionality, which even superb photos cannot adequately capture, not that my photos are superb.
3. Most ginbari buttons are round, and shaped examples are much less common.