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 fine bronze ewer or kettle (aftaba) dates to the 18th Century in Mughal 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.
This antique silver cup was probably made from melted Spanish silver coins that came from silver produced in the mines of Mexico or South America, c. 1800-1860.
It has engraved and chiseled decorative borders and an applied handle in the shape if a two headed dragon.
It stands 3 1/2" in height, 4 1/4" across the handle and weighs 108 grams or 3.72 Troy ounces.
It is in excellent condition with no dents, losses or repairs.
It also has no marks or monograms and is guaranteed to be at least .900 pure (coin silver).
This Chinese ceramic or porcelain charger measures 15-15.25 inches in diameter. It measures about 2.5 inches in depth.
It dates to the Qing Dynasty in China (1644-1911).
It is hand painted in the Famille Rose palette and design.
It has a black ground border with green scrolling leaves and foliage and rose to pink colored flowers.
The level of detail and the quality of the painting is exceptional.
It is in outstanding condition with no repairs or restoration. It has an amazing clear ring and there are no hidden or hairline cracks.
NOTE: It does have a small number of tiny flake losses to the painting. They are not significant and can be seen in the photographs- if you look closely. They do not detract from it's overall appearance.
This has been in our personal collection for well over thirty years.
This nephrite jade carving is a pale celadon to yellow jade altered to brown overall.
It appears to have been buried for an extended period of time, based on the level of alteration or oxidation.
We conservatively estimate that this antique nephrite jade dates to the late 19th - early 20th century.
It may actually be much older. Please view the detailed photos carefully.
The buyer will not be disappointed.
It measures 80 mm x 45mm x 12 mm in depth.
It is in very good condition with the exception of a slight loss to one wing tip, which appears to have happened ages ago because it shows wear and toning consistent with the rest of the carving.
The shape of the tail is unusual in that it looks like a sea monster . Without its pointed beak, it could be mistaken for a dragon or a kylin.
This original carving of a Chinese lions and cub.
It dates from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Each one holds a lingzhi in its mouth.
It measures about 55 mm x 41 mm x 20 mm ( 2.1 x 1.5 x .75 inches)
It is carved from a uniformly pale celadon jade.
This carved jade dog in a reclining position measures 3.25 inches long by about 1.25 inches tall by 1.5 inches in depth.
It is carved from a piece of nephrite jade that has colors that range from off white and pale celadon to pale yellow and brown in areas.
It dates from the late 19th to early 20th Century in China.
It is in excellent condition with no damage or restoration.
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 antique Chinese nephrite jade carving of a naturalistic motif, possibly a squash or gourd.
It measures 2 inches long by 1 1/8 inches tall by about 1/2 inch in depth.
It dates to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)in China and is carved from a pale green celadon jade.
This is an original antique Chinese carved lacquer cup.
It measures 2.75 inches in diameter and about 4.2 inches wide (including the Fu Lion handles on either side of the cup.)
It stands about 2 inches tall (measured from top to bottom.)
It has two robed figures seated on clouds set out against a repeating pattern.
This cup dates to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) or, quite possibly, even a bit earlier.
It is in excellent condition except for a tiny loss of lacquer on the interior lip of the cup (see closeup photo).
This cup was part of a small collection of Chinese carved lacquer purchased about 25 years ago from a private collection established in the early 20th century.
This is one of two similar cups that were part of the original collection. The cups were not a matching pair, but are of a very similar style. We will be offering the other cup later on.
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This bronze figure of Jambhala (also known as Vaisravana) measures about 11.5 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 5 inches in depth (including the bronze lotus mount and lion that it sits on).
He is commonly considered to be the god of wealth and protector of the north, riding on a lion.
A mongoose sits on a lotus under his left foot.
His right hand holds a citron or lemon (a symbol of fertility).
The character of Jambhala or Vaisavana is founded upon the Hindu deity Kubera, but although the Buddhist and Hindu deities share some characteristics, each of them has different functions and associated myths.
Although brought into East Asia as a Buddhist deity, Vaisravana has become a character in folk religion and has acquired an identity that is independent of the Buddhist tradition .
Vaisravana is the guardian of the northern direction, and his home is in the northern quadrant of the topmost tier of the lower half of Mount Sumeru. He is the leader of all the yaksas who dwell on the Sumeru's slopes.
He is often portrayed with a yellow face.
He is also sometimes displayed with a mongoose, often shown ejecting jewels from its mouth.
The mongoose is the enemy of the snake, a symbol of greed or hatred; the ejection of jewels represents generosity.
In Tibet, Vaisravana is considered a worldly dharmapala or protector of the Dharma, a member of the retinue of Ratnasambhava.
He is also known as the King of the North. As guardian of the north, he is often depicted on temple murals outside the main door.
He is also thought of as a god of wealth. As such, he is sometimes portrayed carrying a citron(a type of lemon), the fruit of the jambhara tree, a pun on another name of his, Jambhala . The fruit helps distinguish him iconically from depictions of Kuvera.
He is sometimes represented as corpulent and covered with jewels.
His mount is a snow lion.
This intricate bronze has much of it's original over painting remaining on the faces of both Jambala and his mount. There is a large amount of gilding applied to jeweled portions and accent details. This was a style of decoration that was popular during the later portion of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and also occasionally during the early portion of the Qing Dynasty( 1644-1912).
We estimate this antique bronze to date to the 17th or 18th century, but it may be a bit earlier than that.
This antique bronze is in excellent condition, with one exception. It sits on three mount pins that extend into the sealed lotus base. One of these pins has broken off and is apparently roaming around within the base itself. Sitting on two pins rather than three has had no adverse effect on it's stability whatsoever.
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 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 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.
Nepalese Bronze Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani
11th to 14th century: circa 1000-1300 AD.
This outstanding bronze statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani stands 13.5 inches tall not including the two rectangular mounts that extend into it's bronze base.
It stands 15 inches tall including it's bronze lotus base.
It is in excellent condition with much of it's original gilt remaining on the raised areas and his face. The remainder of the original gilt has been lost over the last thousand years or so, exposing a deep copper colored bronze surface.
Among the many forms of Avalokiteshvara, Padmapani is probably the oldest.
Avalokiteshvara is the embodiment of all of the Buddha's infinite compassion.
Padmapani means "lotus in hand". His left hand holds the lotus stalk, while his right hand is lowered in the gesture of granting favors.
This is an early example the use of semi precious stone inlays, a distinctive feature of Tibetan and Nepali sculpture.
His smooth torso and broad shoulders reflect the impact of the Gupta style, which existed in Northern India from the fourth to sixth century. The armlets and crown are traditionally found on 10th to 12th century sculpture.
Additional Nepalese or Nepali scuptural traditions can be seen in the shape of the broad face and full cheekbones which differ from the smaller and fuller facial features found in Indian art. The curves of the eyebrows and eyes and the long line of the nose are also typically Nepalese in style. In addition, the delicately engraved or incised floral pattern of the sarong around his waist is also typically found on early Nepali sculptures .
A larger, but stylistically similar example of an 11th century bronze Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani is held in the Cleveland Museum of Art:
On September 21, 2007 Christies NY sold a 14 inch gilt bronze Avalokitesvara Padmapani for $577,000.00 .
Recently - On March 20, 2012, a 17 7/8 inch tall bronze Padmapani was sold for $2.8 million dollars by Christies Auction House in New York.
THIS IS A MUSEUM QUALITY BRONZE AND IT IS GUARANTEED TO BE AS DESCRIBED, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
This small jade or hard stone carving of a stylized face measures 2.25 inches x 2.75 inches x 1.5 inches in depth.
It's colors range from a medium to dark green to a pale green with areas of translucence. It also has natural inclusions in the stone with areas of dark brown or off white oxidation.
It is carved in the style of old Olmec carvings, but it may be early 20th century. It may also be Chinese, rather than Latin American in origin, but neither origin has been documented yet.
It is unusual in that it has a mounting bracket extending from the reverse side. Similar brackets have been seen on occasion to allow for mounting as architectural components or as decorations in religious settings.
If this stylized carving actually is older than our estimate, it would be worth a great deal more than our asking price.
The mounting bracket would allow for this piece to be worn as a belt slide or buckle, or as a large pendant.
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 antique bronze figure of Mahakala measures 10 inches wide by 12 inches tall by 3 inches in depth (at it's widest points)
It dates from 17th to 18th century Nepal or Tibet (circa 1600's-1700's)
It is in very good condition with remnants of gilt along with green verdigris (oxidation). Note: the bronze is slightly loose on its base. This does not affect it when placed against a wall.