For a long time I have been very interested in Japanese applied arts, netsuke, inro and tsuba’s mainly. Although I stopped collecting such items actively I still recently bought these 4 items from a friend.
The provenance wat too interesting to let them pass by. The friends grandfather was Professor Dr. C.C. Krieger. He collected these items in the first half of the 20th century when he was the Conservator for the Department of Japan, China and mainland Asia in what today is the Ethnographical Museum (Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde) in Leiden. He held this position from 1927 up to his retirement in 1949.
In 1935 he became Dr in the Japanese language and the same year he became professor in the same subject at the Utrecht University. In 1947 he was promoted to special professor (bijzonder hoogleraar) in the art history of the Far East including the Japanese language which he held upon his final retirement in 1954, aged 70.
About 20 years before I had already received his fountain pen as a gift for my collection. Being a specialist in the Japanese language and art he obviously wrote with a luxurious Japanese pen. It was Dunhill-Namiki, a cooperation between the famous London retailer of smoking utensils Dunhill and the Japanese pen company of Namiki (Pilot). These Namiki pens are famous for the lacquer (maki-e) of high quality and also were made by famous artists. Dunhill retailed them in the Western world. In this case the pen was used intensively. It is a rare pen as a size 20 (the biggest they made apart from the jumbo size 50) in a period that watches and pens were still small in general. A very appreciated gift and still one of my favorites!
His extensive collection of Japanese art was divided between his 3 children, amongst which the mother of my friend. She held on to the inheritance and after her death her two daughters inherited the collection and I was happy to gain these 4 objects from his original collection.
See also part 2: Prof. Dr. Krieger part 2 – breaking the Japanese code…