Japanese Meiji Emperor and Empress
Silver Portraits

In the Meiji period Japanese silver artisans took over the western technique
to make portraits of persons in silver repousse .
These portraits of the Meiji Emperor and Empress where made around 1900.
These portraits were presented as a gift by the Emperor to Japanese
Noble families or high officials.
The Imperial mon is on the frame
Click for portrait of
the Empress
Portrait of the Meiji Emperor , silver repousse.
Around 1900
Size with wooden frame 44 x 38 cm
Size of the silver panel 22,5 x 16,5 cm.
Signed at the back Unno Bisei, the Go or art name of
Unno Yoshimori II ( 1864 - 1919 )
On the back of the frame is written in Japanese
Meiji tenno son kei (respected figure of the Meiji emperor ), Tokyo bijutsu gakko kyoju (professor at the Tokyo art school), ju goi (a goi rank), Unno Bisei and a red seal
Unno Bisei was a well known Meiji silver artist.
He became Professor at the Imperial Fine Art College in Tokyo in 1891
and was awarded the honorable title, teishitsugigeiin (Imperial household artist) in 1892.

The silvered portrait of the Meiji emperor was probably based on Bisei's original work and a certain number of the portraits were made for presentation in the Meiji period.

Unno Bisei wrote a few chapters in the standard work for western silversmith:
H. Wilson : Silverwork and Jewellery. Pitman,1902. London.