This is a Tibetan copper & white metal/silver prayer box or portable shrine (Gao) with a small bronze figure of Ganesh inside.
It dates circa 1890-1930, or possibly earlier.
It also has stitched covers from the early to middle 20th Century.
The front cover is covered with wonderfully hand tooled images, including a Tibetan mythical beast or lion surrounded by Buddhist calligraphy, topped by a flame. The rest of the box is copper, under the protective, stitched cover.
It measures 5 inches tall by 4 1/4 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches in depth.
It is part of a small collection of antique Asian silver artifacts that were originally acquired together. Some of these items will also be offered for sale, now or at a later date.
These two museum quality cloisonne enameled censors in the shape of cockerels or mythological birds are a matched pair.
Each one measures 17 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 6 inches in depth.
They are very ornate with fan tails.
Their large, ornate tails are removable, opening them for a possible use as incense burners.
They date from the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911).
They are in outstanding condition, period.
They are covered with double facing dragon and phoenix designs (the symbols of the emperor and empress). They also have archaic plant and bird designs overall.
NOTE: These are outstanding and much more impressive in person than the photos would indicate.
On May 30th, 2012 Christie's Hong Kong offered a pair of cloisonne roosters (14 inch tall) from the 18th century( Qianlong period) at an estimate of $370,000.00-$450,000.00. They were in a standing position -versus the position of repose of the pair we are offering.
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 antique Persian Silver vase measures 7 inches tall (17 cm) by 5 1/2 inches in diameter (14.5 cm).
It dates circa 1700-1850 or earlier.
It is finely engraved with alternating medallions of bird in an ornate floral landscape and medallions of symmetrical calligraphy. Between the medallions are additional engraved floral wreaths
There are three silver hallmarks on the base. The usual standard of Persian silver is .84 or 84/100 pure silver.
Condition is excellent except for a small bung (see enlargement). Overall, this is an outstanding work of art and much nicer than my poor photos would indicate. Any color changes in the photos are from the flash and not on the vase itself.
This Japanese Satsuma pitcher or condiment jar measures about 6 inches tall by 4 inches in diameter at it's widest point.
It dates from the late 19th century-early 20th Century( Meiji Period) (circa 1880-1915).
It is in excellent condition with some minor losses to the gilding on the handle.
It is covered overall with a finely detailed series of patterns, which include a bird and dragon motif with fans.
Based on it's rounded and smoothed edges, it appears that this small vessel never originally had a permanent top or stopper.
It is unmarked as to maker or country of origin . This one fact helps to date it pre 1895 when US import export laws were established. After that date it would have had to have been marked as to country of origin.
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.
This antique bronze figure of the Monkey God Hanuman measures 5 x 4 x 1 1/2 inches (13 x 10 x 3 cm).
It is in excellent condition.
This ancient bronze figure was most likely crafted in Northern India, Tibet or Nepal.
We are dating it to the 17th - 18th century, although it may actually be much earlier, based on it's stylistic similarities with small Pala period bronze figures.
This large jadeite carving of Guanyin (Kwan Yin) measures 4.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches in depth by 12.5 inches tall (including the period carved wooden base it sits on).
We estimate the jade itself to be about 11.5 inches tall without the stand. It sits about a half inch down in the stand and is bolted down (actually bolted down to the stand) (Someone was VERY careful with this old jade).
It is carved fom one piece of multicolored apple green jade with various shades of green flowing through it and a wonderfully rich color on it's face. It also has a few small inclusions of very dark green jade near it's base. These are all natural colors. This is NOT a color enhanced jade, guaranteed.
It dates from the late 18th century through the latter part of the 19th century.
It is in excellent condition with no losses or repairs. It does have some natural inclusions on it's reverse that could be mistaken for damage. Be assured, they are natural fissures in the stone that have oxidized over the last century or so.
This museum quality silvered bronze Nepalese or Sino-Tibetan figure of Tara (also known as Kuan Yin or Guanyin) dates to the 14th to 15th century or earlier.
It stands 10 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches in diameter.
It has exquisite details and very subtle modeling.
It is in excellent condition and retains much of it's original silver finish.
A similar example can be seen in "Oriental Art: India, Nepal & Tibet" by Michael Ridley, 1970, Plate 37 (listed as 14th Century or earlier).
This Japanese painted bronze figure of Daikoku measures approximately 13.5 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 5 inches in depth.
It is a substantial bronze figure, weighing around 13+ pounds or about 6 kilos.
It is signed or marked on both the figure and the separate base of rice bales (see two of the enlargement pictures).
It dates from the late Meiji to Taisho Period (circa 1890-1912).
It is in excellent condition with most of it's original colored and patinated surfaces intact. An exception to this is the loss of a small triangular shaped piece which was apparently once attached at the figure's midsection (see photo enlargement of loss). This most likely was originally a separate attachment (see the drill hole?) in the shape of a small pouch (or treasure sack) which Daikoku traditionally carried.
Since the 17th century, Daikoku has been known as the Japanese god of wealth, the household and of farmers, although in earlier centuries he was considered a fierce protector deity (Mahakala).
In Japan, artwork of this deity usually shows him wearing a hood and standing on two bales of rice, carrying a sack of treasure and holding a magic mallet. Daikoku is often clad in robes, with a smile on his face.
In some traditions, Daikoku is also considered to be a provider of food, and images of him can still be found in monastery kitchens and in the kitchens of private homes. He is recognized by his wide face, smile, and a flat black hat.
He is often portrayed holding a golden mallet (called a Uchide Nokozuchi), also known as a magic money mallet, and is seen positioned on bales of rice, occasionally with mice nearby (mice signifying plentiful food).
Originally a Hindu deity called Mahakala, he was introduced to Japan in the ninth century, and merged with the Shinto deity of good harvests, Oo-kuninushi-no-Mikoto (or Okuninushi-no-Kami, translated as "Prince Plenty"). The lucky mallet in his right hand is called the uchide nokozuchi. This mallet is said to have magical properties that can produce anything desired when struck. Some stories say that coins fall out when he shakes his mallet. Others say that believers are granted their heart's desire by tapping a symbolic mallet on the ground three times and making a wish.
The symbol of the precious Buddhist Jewel, sometimes found on Daikoku's mallet or belt, represents the themes of wealth and unfolding possibility. It is said to give its holder the ability to see all things (like a crystal ball).
The precious jewel is one of the seven symbols of royal power in Buddhism. Daikokyu, himself is considered to be one of the seven household gods of Japan.
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 pair of Chinese Seated Lions date from the 17th -19th Century or possibly a bit earlier.
These pottery or earthenware lions each measure about 9.5 - 10 inches tall by 6 inches wide by about 4 inches in depth.
They are in very good condition with only a small loss to one of the tails.
This Qing Dynasty Chinese carved jade double tube vase or nuptial cup measures just slightly less than 7 inches tall by about 4 inches wide by 3 inches in depth.
It is also known as a "Champion Vase".
It is carved from one piece of celadon colored nephrite jade with inclusion of lighter jade that give it the appearance of cloud formations. It also has a few rust colored inclusions that follow the natural inclusions of the stone.
It is carved in the shape of a mythological bird or phoenix standing on a Chinese lion or Chilung while holding two ornately carved tubular vases with its wings. The lids of both vases are conjoined by a dragon wrapped around both sides.
Double jade carvings of this type have been described not only as “Marriage or Nuptial Cups”, but also as “Champion Vases” by their owners over the centuries.
These are quite rare and can be found in museum collections throughout the world. There is a jade champion vase in the Victoria and Albert museum in England.
There is also one at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.
Prices for similar but not absolutely identical jade champion vases have been increasing over the last decade or so. There are major similarities in most all of these vases but the minor details often vary from one to the next.
On November 1, 2004 , Christies Hong Kong sold a calcified green jade Champion vase for $80,256.00 against an estimate of $25,831.00- $38, 746.00 (sale 2177-Lot 834).
On November 27, 2007, Christies Hong Kong sold a white jade Champion vase for $248,842.00 (sale 2388-Lot 1547). It had an estimate of $38,730.00 - $51,640.00. It was 5 1/8 inches tall ( 13 cm).It was exceptional and from a well known collection.
On March 18, 2008, Christies Auction House sold a Champion Vase of somewhat similar appearance for $50,000.00 US (Christies: Sale 2267-Lot #440) It was 5 7/8 inches tall. On June 12, 2012, another jade Champion vase was sold for $64,000.00 (Christies –Sale 3509 /Lot #161). It was 5 1/8 inches tall.
Another jade champion vase is scheduled to go up to auction very soon ( Christies NY- September 13, 2012 (sale 2580- Lot # ?). Estimated Value: $50,000.00-$70,000.00. _________________________________________________________________________________
This jade carving of a Chinese lion, Chimera or Fu dog sits at an alert posture on all four paws.
It has a split or bifurcated tail and stylized wings.
It measures 2 1/2 inches by 1 7/8 inches by 1 1/4 inch (57 mm x 49 mm x 31 mm).
It is carved from a piece of off white to celadon colored jade with natural striations running through it. There is a natural brown irregularity which runs from it's foot to it's ear on one side along with a small area of brown suffusion on it's flank.
(This is the fancy way of saying it has few areas of rust. Not a bad thing for a genuine antique jade carving.)
We are dating this one to the late Ming through early Qing Dynasty, but it may actually be earlier.
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 original 19th century wooden carving of a Chinese Emperor with gilded and polychrome details measures 11 inches tall, 5 3/4 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep. It is in outstanding condition with ornate detailing and symbols in high relief on it's golden robe.
The one exception to it's unusually good condition is the loss of one hand. The hair in it's beard is REAL.
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.