Hawk on a Perch
Japan, c.1890. Carved, hammered and engraved shibuichi, inlaid with shakudo, gold and silver. By Jomi Sei. H. 65cm. Purchased with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund and the Story Fund.
This is as fine a model of a bird as can be found in Meiji period sculpture, when birds were a favourite theme. Jomi was the holder of many awards and prizes and this must surely be amongst his masterpieces. The hawk represented is probably Hodgson's Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis; Japanese, kuma-taka).