Copper) and shibuichi (I part of silver to 3 of copper).
Neither metal, when it emerges from the furnace, has any beauty, shakudo being simply dark-colored copper and shibuichi pale gun-metal.
Shibuichi inlaid with shakudo used to be the commonest combination of metals in this class of decoration, and the objects usually depicted were bamboos, crows, wild-fowl under the moon, peony sprays and so forth.
For example, on the surface of a shibuichi box-lid we see the backs of a flock of geese chiselled in silver, and when the lid is opened, their breasts and the under-sides of their pinions appear.
Thus, having pierced a spray of flowers in a thin sheet of shibuichi, the artist fits a slender rim of gold, silver or shakudo to the petals, leaves and stalks, so that an effect is produced of transparent blossoms outlined in gold, silver or purple.
Shibuichi and shakudo are melted separately, and when they have cooled just enough not to mingle too intimately, they are Cast into a bar which is subsequently beaten flat.
A procesi resembling maze-gane, but less fortuitous, is shibuichi-dshi (combined shibuichi), which involves beating together two kinds of shibuichi and then adding a third variety, after which the details of the picture are I worked in as in the case of maze-gane.
The only branch of the lacquerers art that can be said to have shown any marked development in the Meiji era is that in which parts of the decorative scheme consist of objects in gold, silver, shakudo, shibuichi, iron, or, above all, ivory or mother- N