kiwamegaki 極書
KEY WORD : painting / paintings
Lit. certificates of authenticity. A written appraisal or authentication of an art work. There are four types of appraisals named according to the place where they are written. Strictly speaking, an appraisal written directly on the bottom or inside of a lid of the storage box is a kiwamegaki. More usual are the kiwamefuda 極札 written on a narrow slip of paper *tanzaku 短冊 or *origami 折紙, those on a sheet folded in half that are kept in the storage box with the art work. In the case of a folding screen *byoubu 屏風 or large hanging-scroll painting *kakemono 掛物, the kiwamefuda can be pasted on the back. An appraisal written directly on a work of art is known as shichuukiwame 紙中極. See *okugaki 奥書. Kiwamegaki usually record the title, artist's name, the seal *kiwame-in 極印 and date of appraisal, with the appraiser's signature. The practice became especially widespread during the Edo period, which witnessed an increase in connoisseurship of many of the arts including painting, calligraphy, swords, and tea utensils. Modern scholars consider the most authoritative Edo certificates to be written by members of the Honnami 本阿弥 family for swords, the kohitsu 古筆 school for calligraphy, and Kanou artists *Kanouha 狩野派 for painting.


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