PRESENTING a GORGEOUS and EXTREMELY RARE Meiji Period High Quality Japanese Bronze Vase by Yoshida Zo.

Made in Kyoto, Japan circa 1885, by the famous bronze sculptor, Yoshida Zo.

It is a large (20 inches tall) bulbous shaped vase with elongated fluted neck. Made of zinc based bronze and with EXTREMELY HIGH QUALITY dragon and bird appliques.

In the style of archaistic Japanese bronzes but definitely late Meiji Period, as Yoshida Zo of Kyoto sculpted in the mid-late 19th Century.

Has the fully authentic impressed mark/seal of Yoshida Zo on the base.

The vase stands on a tiered circular platform base with chased floral decoration around the central portion.

Moving upwards, the vase has a large bulbous central section with a diameter of 10 inches. It has clouds and other chased decoration all over and 2 large recessed panels with applied bronze appliques of birds, branches, bamboo and cherry blossom flowers.

3 birds on each panel (total of 6) and we think they are ”Oriental Turtle Doves’.

The ‘detail’ to these birds and vegetation appliques is FANTASTIC!

The birds feathers, heads, tails etc are very detailed, as are the flowers and branches etc.

It is this attention to ‘detail’ that really makes this piece stand out as being of the HIGHEST QUALITY!

The vase extends upwards from the bulbous center, to a long-necked and fluted top section which widens to a scalloped open top, with a diameter of 5.3 inches.

The central and long-necked sections are separated with a bronze applique of a ‘coiled dragon’ holding a gourd. This dragon encircles the vase with extended claws.

The long-necked section, likewise, has a bronze applique of a ‘coiled dragon’, encircling the vase with extended claws. This section also has chased or engraved clouds all over.

Again, the QUALITY of the detail to the dragons is breathtaking! The heads, scales, legs, tails and large claws are of exceptional detail and quality.

CONDITION: Mostly in very good original condition. No losses to bird or dragon appliques. Central bulbous section has suffered a few ‘dings’ and ‘dents’ on one side only. 3 dents in total (see pics). Was always constructed in 2 pieces, with the long-necked top section attached to the bulbous base. Some very minor repairs at the point of attachment but not noticeable. The pricing reflects these issues and if it were ‘mint’ it would easily, be worth double the asking price.

Pieces of this quality and size, by Yoshida Zo, RARELY appear on the market. From our extensive research only 1 piece has appeared in the last 20 years at the major auction houses and it was at Sotheby’s in London in 2021, a Bronze Jardiniere, that had an Auction estimate of 2,000-3,000 GBP and sold for 2,142 GBP. Almost $3,000 (USD).


The Meiji period (明治時代 Meiji-jidai?), also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from October 23, 1868 through July 30, 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudal society to its modern form. Fundamental changes affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations. The period corresponded with the reign of Emperor Meiji after 1868, and lasted until his death in 1912. It was succeeded by the Taishō period upon the accession of Emperor Taishō to the throne.

Authenticated Seal/Mark of Yoshida Zo

The stamp on the bottom of this beautiful vase is Yoshida zô’ (made by Yoshida (in) the western capital). Seikyo is an alternative name for Kyoto. The workshop of Yoshida in Kyoto was already active during the early Meiji period, producing bronze jardinières (suiban), vases, gongs and ornaments for both domestic and export markets. Yoshida’s Kyoto bronze ware workshop is well known for producing items of extremely high quality. His work was shown at the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia.

Meiji Period High Quality Japanese Bronze Vase by Yoshida Zo

Provenance: From a Private LA Collection

Condition: See full listing. Good.

Dimensions: Base diameter of 6.75 inches. Central section is 10 inches in diameter. Top opening has a diameter of 5.3 inches. 20 inches Tall. Weighs 14 lbs.

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