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Monumental Urn

19th Century

Monumental Japanese palace urn that was presented to the new Bury Art Gallery in 1901, by local man Henry Whitehead, who had trading connections with Japan. 

This large bronze urn, 3.5 meters in height, has been elaborately precision-cast in thirteen separate parts.

The inscription on the body of the urn tells us three things: that it was made in Japan; that it was made in East City (Tokyo); and that it was made by Sei Fusai.

It was probably made during the Edo dynasty and is therefore no older than 19th century. In some places the molten bronze has not flown well into the mould leaving a number of small holes here and there. It is a fine example of its kind and was made purely as a decorative piece without any practical purpose. Such pieces were popular in the large Victorian houses of the last century such as Haslam Hey, Henry Whitehead’s home. Other copies of the urn may exist if the moulds survived the casting process of this example.