This fine bronze ewer or kettle (aftaba) dates to the 18th Century in Wughal India.
It is of typical form and good weight. It measures: height: 26cm, width: 24cm.
It has a prominent faceted spout along with its original lid with a bud-like finial, an 'S' shaped handle which has a stylized lion head at one end and a lotus bud finial at the other. It stands on four short feet.
The flattened, globular pear shaped body tapers to a long neck. The body has been cast with raised cloud or foliage borders to the top and bottom, The design work on the body is of better quality than usually seen. The body, lid and spout have been engraved overall with repeated stylized vegetable or poppy motifs. The lid has similar patterns.
Ewers of this type originated in Persia and the Middle East. Typical Islamic ewers comprised a central chamber to which a spout, foot, handle and neck were attached. They permitted water to flow - notations in the Koran described flowing water as 'clean'.
Ewers were introduced to India by Muslim invaders during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Later Indian inspired designs became more curvaceous and many were decorated with lush plant and floral motifs.
In India, local Muslims used such vessels for hand washing. They became a practical tool of hospitality, being used to welcome visitors by pouring scented water over the hands and feet and into a basin, and took on a great variety of shapes and types whilst adhering to the basic ewer form.
This example is in excellent condition. There are no repairs, splits or dents. as mentioned, the lid is original – usually the lid is missing or replaced.
A slightly larger (39.4 cm tall) sold at Sotheby's on October 5, 2011 for 6250 British pounds( $9784.00 in US dollars) (lot 265) . It had much less surface detailing. ( http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/arts-of-the-islamic-world/lot.265.html )
Provenance: The southern California art market prior to 1980.
Reference: Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.
Pair of Imperial Bronze Dragon Seals: Qianlong Marks and Period
This large pair of dragon handled bronze seals date from the period of Qianlong (1735-1795), emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in China.
The rectangular base measures 8 ½ inches by 7 ¼ inches (21.5 cm x 19.5 cm). The dragon handle stands up about 3 inches tall (8 cm.).
The top portions of the seals are covered with chiseled and engraved patterns of dragons and swirling lines representing the ocean or the sky. Standing on top of all this is the dragon handle.
The bottom of the seals are covered in archaic old Chinese pictogram script (see closeup photos). They also include traditional Chinese characters in one corner which are easily interpreted as Qianlong Reign Marks.
Some folks thought these might be paperweights because of their rather large size, compared to most seals of either bronze or jade. A recent article in the Jakarta Post referred to a very similar bronze seal as a “casted paperweight from the Qianlong Period”. See link below:
( http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/04/scholar-objects-undervalued-small-treasures.html )
These bronzes may have served double duty, with an original purpose yet to be determined by deciphering the archaic script and the possibility of also having been used as massive scroll weights.
The Emperor Qianlong had a serious interest in painting and was known to dabble in it himself on occasion. Some scrolls are exceptionally long and might have required a substantial scroll weight to keep them open for viewing (or possible two or more to hold the whole long thing open in the privacy of one's palace).
On April 4, 2010 , one identical bronze seal/scroll weight was sold at auction in China for the amount of RMB 651,200. (about $108,000.00 US ). The auction estimate had originally been 600,000-800,000 RMB (about $100,000-$130,000) for one single bronze seal.
The pair of bronze seals or scroll weights or “paperweights” are both in excellent condition. The buyer will not be disappointed.
They were purchased about 30 years ago in Southern California.
NOTE: Although the photos below make the the bronzes appear to be of different sizes , only the photos are of different sizes, not the bronzes themselves.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: THERE ARE A FEW VERY TINY SPOTS OF VERDIGRIS ON ONE OF THE SEALS . THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR A BRONZE ITEM THAT IS OVER 200 YEARS OLD. IT IS REALLY NOT WORTH MENTIONING BUT WE ALWAYS LIKE TO HAVE FULL DISCLOSURE SO THERE ARE NO SURPRISES FOR THE BUYER.
This is a small, antique Tibetan copper & white metal or silver prayer box and /or portable shrine (Gao) with a small gold colored seated Buddha statue inside.
It dates circa 1890-1930.
It measures 3 1/3 inches tall by 3 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth.
The front cover is covered overall with wonderfully tooled reposse images, including a Tibetan beast or lion surrounded by Buddhist calligraphy, topped by a flame. The rest of the box is copper, under the protective, stitched cover.
It also has stitched covers from the early to middle 20th Century.
It is part of a small collection of antique Asian silver artifacts that were acquired a while ago. Please check our other listings to see additional items from this small but select collection that we are currently offering for sale.
This antique Burmese Shan bronze figure of a crowned Jambhupati Buddha measures approximately 22 inches tall by 8 inches wide by 7 inches in depth.
It is in excellent condition except for a few areas where the casting has either thinned out or was thin to begin with. Even so, this is a heavy, well detailed bronze with a nice patina.
This bronze Buddha was purchased many years ago and is part of our personal collection of ancient Asian artifacts acquired between 25-40 years ago..
We estimate it to date to the 18th -19th century, but it may actually be somewhat earlier. This is a museum quality bronze and the next owner will not be disappointed.
This is an original pair of 18th-19th century wooden carvings of Chinese eunichs or officials. Each one measures 8.5 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep (at the base). They are in good condition with most of the original painted detailing remaining on their faces and painted details remaining in other areas, such as the hat, sash, and ceremonial jade disk held by one of them. One figure holds what appears to be a representation of an old ceremonial jade. These appear to have been tomb figures that lost much of their original colors. The blue of the robes may be restoration.
This 18th-19th century Tibetan or Nepalese bronze oil lamp measures approximately 6 inches tall by 6 inches wide (pan tip to dragon tail).
It was designed to be used as a lamp using either Yak butter or oil.
It has a standing dragon for a handle and a pan with Ganesha on a shield. It is a classic design which incorporates motif from the two cultures (India and China) which are major influences on Tibet (situated between the two of them).
It dates from the late 18th through the middle of the 19th century.
It is in excellent condition with a small amount of verdigris in the recessed areas. It does appear to have been cleaned at some time in it's history and appears to be toning down nicely. It also has some wax residue remaining in a few crevices.
This white nephrite jade carving of a pig dates from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).
It measures 4 inches nose to tail, by about 1 3/8 inches tall by 1 inch in width.
It is an overall white color with traces of brown oxidation in the crevices. It has areas of irregularity on it's flat and rounded surfaces that create an almost spider web like pattern (off white on white colors).
It is in excellent condition except for one drill hole in the tail which does not appear to be contemporary with the piece. It was most likely added so it could be worn as a pendant.
This 19th century Japanese carved ivory okimono measures approximately 9 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches in diameter at it's widest point.
It is intricately carved with fully delineated scales and teeth on the fish. The figure riding a fish is carved from one solid walrus tusk and it sits on a separate oval section as a base. The crystalline pattern that is so indicative of walrus ivory can be seen in many places on the carving, including Kinko's robe (interior front left) and the belly of the carp or koi.
It dates from the Meiji Period in Japan (circa 1870-1900).
It is in very good condition with some stabilized antique ivory fractures as are seen on many of these okimonos that are well over 100 years old.
Japan originally imported and adapted many Taoist and Buddhist teachings from China, which were then combined with native Shinto beliefs.
One Taoist figure incorporated into Japanese artwork was Kinko, a holy hermit. He is often depicted mounted on the enormous carp that carried him to the Undersea Kingdom. There, sea creatures taught him that all life is sacred.
In Japan the carp (koi) is also a symbol of persistence, longevity, and fertility. Land-locked farmers have kept carp in their ponds to provide food for centuries and also bred them for their beautiful colors.
This forest green glazed Kochi ware vase with handles measures 12 cm tall by 12 cm in diameter by 19 cm wide (handle to handle). It most likely dates to the beginning of the 20th century. The glaze pools dark green in the crevices.
There are NO marks or signatures on this vase.
It is in excellent condition. No chips, cracks, hairlines, repairs, etc. It does have a few very light surface scratches to the glaze. There are four round felt pads on the bottom of the vase (see enlargement photos).
The glaze is even and complete. Any white spots or lines are from the flash and are NOT on the vase itself.
Japanese Awaji ware was influenced by or copied after, Chinese Cochin ware: a 16th century pottery originally produced in Southern China or Vietnam. It consisted primarily of green glazed wares with low relief decoration* (*Ceramic Art of Japan, Seattle Art Museum, Page 164)(CAJ).
Another theory about the origin of Cochi or Cochin ware is that it was carried from China to South East Asia (modern Day Vietnam and Thailand) during the Song or Yuan Dynasty . In 1206 the Mongolian tribes met and agreed to unite under Genghis Khan. In 1215 Genghis Khan captured Beijing. In 1279 Kublai Khan, his grandson, completed the Quest of China, ending the Song Dynasty. The Yuan dynasty that they created lasted from 1279 to 1368 (1368- 1644 A.D. Ming dynasty). Faced with Mongol rule artists, potters, merchants and exporters left China and set up their operations in Vietnam and Thailand. The Sung kiln and glaze technologies were transferred to Vietnam. Bat Trang (in Vietnam) prospered and continued to do so as the Ming dynasty maintained a closed-door policy until 1567. It was not until 1684 that the Chinese competed effectively with Vietnamese ceramics exporters. By this time Vietnamese pottery had achieved such popularity in Japan that even the Japanese potters produced ceramics in the Vietnamese style, which they called Cochi or Kochi ware. During the late Edo Period there was a fashion among Kyoto potters (including Eiraku Hozen, Ogata Kenzan, and Aoki Mokubei) to emulate the Chinese wares of the 16th century, especially the export blue and white, gosu-akae, and Kochi ware** (**CAJ-pg 158).
Price on Request
This antique gilt bronze figure of Tara dates to 11th-12th century Nepal.
It measures approximately 12 inches tall (13 inches with custom wooden stand).
It is in outstanding condition, especially considering that it is over 900 years old.
NOTE: This 900+ year old bronze does have one condition issue:
The lotus flower on Tara's left shoulder is bent forward slightly and needs to be repositioned professionally.
It is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, but it should be done by someone with experience in such matters.
Just bending it back might have the unwanted effect of snapping it off. It needs to be heated, softened and gently moved back into place by a pro.
Tara is the most important goddess in the Buddhist pantheon.
She stands, gracefully and powerfully modeled in a hip-shot posture.
Her right hand is held in a gesture of varadamudra (fearlessness and wish granting).
Her left hand is held in a teaching gesture (vitarkamudra) while holding a lotus flower rising to her shoulder.
Her face has a serene expression with downcast eyes flanked by large earrings.
She is wearing a diaphanous dhoti rolled down to the waist. It is incised with floral patterns and secured with a jeweled sash inset with precious stones.
She also wears a jeweled neck piece, armbands and tiara enclosing her up swept hair.
Tara occupies a unique status in that she has mythological origins as a goddess, as a Bodhisattva and is also frequently viewed as a Buddha.
THIS IS A MUSEUM QUALITY BRONZE AND IT IS GUARANTEED TO BE AS DESCRIBED, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
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This Chinese Export or Chinoiserie lacquered wooden box measures 7 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches by 1 3/4 inches.
It dates from the late 18th century to middle 19th century.
It is hand painted with a scene of five figures in a pagoda and garden landscape. The figures are painted in gold over a black lacquer and wood base.
It is in very good condition except for a few very minor cracks and small losses to the lacquer.
This glazed ceramic seated Buddha measures 7 inches tall by 6 1/2 inches wide by about 5 inches in depth.
It consists of a blue glaze over buff ceramic. The glaze is a deep sky blue ranging to shades of turquoise and pooling to black in the crevices. The bottom has a very fine mesh pattern embedded in it that resembles linen. There are no marks of any kind on it.
This seated figure dates to the Kangxi period of the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911) or possibly earlier.
It is in excellent condition, period.
The copper and silver lid is covered with repeating patterns, auspicious symbols and tiny cabachons in turquoise and coral.
The lid is topped by a large (24mm) turquoise bead giving the appearance of a small globe of the earth. In addition, it has four silver shield shapes with large inset carved jades that may represent the four directions (North, South, East, West).
It dates from the late 19th to early 20th century in Tibet or Nepal.
It is in excellent condition with a nice even patinas on the both the copper and silver areas.
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This original Ming Dynasty ceramic or stoneware tile with a figure of a seated Buddha measures about 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.
It is in very good condition with minor losses to the glaze in a few areas along with a few small rim chips.
Stylistically, it has more in common with Song Dynasty ceramics, but most likely it dates to the Ming Dynasty.
This architectural tile appears to have been designed to be mounted in the wall of a shrine or temple and has a pattern of large shaped dovetails on the reverse for that purpose (see enlargement photo).
This museum quality piece consists of very dense stoneware covered with colored glazes in turquoise, aubergine and yellow.
This Buddha tile dates from the Ming Dynasty or earlier.
A Few Facts:
The Shanyin Hall at the White Dagoba Temple was built or restored by the Qianlong emperor in 1751, 30 years after a large earthquake damaged the same area in Beijing.
Shanyin Hall currently has 445 Buddha tiles of similar style, but of later manufacture (probably circa 1976 -when it was last restored after the Tangshan earthquake.) (See the last photograph).
It may have have had tiles similar to the one we are offering prior to it's previous restorations in 1751 or 1976.
It is quite possible that this turquoise Buddha tile may be a remnant of one of those earlier changes or restorations.
We currently have in our collection a tile similar to the current tiles that are currently mounted in Shanyin Hall in Beijing. Our tile is marked with Wanli reign Marks (1573- 1619). This is not the tile we are offering with this lot. The one we are offering actually appears to be earlier than this Wanli tile, but it is unmarked.
We can't document it yet, but it is a serious possibility that this old Buddha tile dates to before 1619.
Our research shows that the original tiles were probably held in place with lime mortar-not the best thing to use in an earthquake zone.
This tile we offer here may have been salvaged from an old temple restoration or from a temple no longer in existence. This same area has seen earthquakes in 1679, again in 1730 and again in 1976-to name a few.
All of this is a combination of verifiable facts and speculation, but speculation based on observable and documented facts.
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This original carved "oosik" or penis bone measures about 11 inches long by 1 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth at it's wide at the base.
Although it has the appearance of ivory, it is actually carved from heavily fossilized walrus penile bone. It is much harder than traditional ivory and as such has been used by native people for generations to producing knives and important implements.
This is likely a fertility totem in as much as it has a hooded woman riding a phallus with the raven and a stylized bear above her.
A work of this quality would have taken a great deal of time talent and effort to create.
The workmanship and details of the carving are outstanding and can honestly be described as museum quality.
This jadeite carving measures about 3.5 x 5 inches by .5 inches in depth. It is in the shape of a rectangular plaque with slightly rounded edges.
It features a robed figure of Buddha holding a large lotus leaf while another figure kneels beside him.
This jadeite carving is in excellent condition .
It has colors that range from pale green to variegated colors that include a bright apple green, deep moss green and touches of emerald green.
The colors of the stone have been used to good effect to make the Buddha stand out on the obverse. On the reverse two large lotus leaves are framed utilizing the natural colors of the stone.
This Japanese bronze handled mirror measures about 8 inches in diameter (21cm) with an extended handle which increases the full height to about 12 inches or 30 centimeters(cm).
It dates to the late Edo Period or Early Meiji period ( about the middle of the 19th century (1840-1860).
It is signed in the left portion of the front. It also has birds flying over churning waves in the ocean.
It still has most of it's silver ovrlay on the two large Kanji marks on the front. It also has remnants of it's silver on the reverse or "Face" of the mirror.
Bronze mirrors were introduced into Japan from China and Korea about 300 BC - AD 300.
At first they had a religious function and were regarded as symbols of authority.
The Japanese soon learned to make their own mirrors using lost-wax casting and decorated them with Japanese or Chinese designs.
By the Nara period (AD 710-794) mirrors were made for everyday use and used designs such as plants and animals to symbolize good fortune.
From the Kamakura period (1185-1333) a design showing Hôraizan (the Chinese 'Island of Immortality') became popular.. More new designs and the first handled mirrors appeared in the Muromachi period (1333-1568).
During the Edo period (1600-1868), mirrors decorated with lucky symbols or Chinese characters were given at weddings. Mirrors became larger as hairstyles became more ornate; some mirrors in Kabuki theatre dressing-rooms were up to fifty centimetres across and were placed on stands. The faces of mirrors were highly polished or burnished, with itinerant tinners and polishers specializing in this work. Since the mirror, together with the sword and the jewel, were symbols of Imperial power, mirror-makers were deeply revered and often given honorary titles such as Tenka-Ichi ('First under Heaven'). However, this title was often misused and was officially prohibited in 1682. Bronze mirrors were replaced by glass mirrors after the Meiji Restoration (1868).
This substantial bronze handled pitcher measures 6 inches tall by 4 inches wide by 7 inches in depth.
We are dating this one to circa 1790-1820, but it may be much, much older. It is either a Neoclassical bronze copy of a Roman bronze or the real thing. We have priced it as a copy, but if real, you can add a couple of "00"s to it's price.
It is in excellent condition, except for a few small bungs and a restoration to the base. The bottom appears to have had three holes filled a long time ago. It may also have been leveled a bit to allow it to sit evenly (this part is speculation).
It has an even greenish black patina overall.