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This ancient marble carving of a reclining lion measures 6 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches in depth by 4 1/2 inches high.
It dates to either the Tang Dynasty in China (618 AD 907 AD) or slightly earlier in one of the Roman provinces ( possibly 300-400 AD). It is in excellent condition and quite rare.
This antique wooden mask is a representation of Mahakala.
It dates from the late 19th or earlier.
It is similar in style and iconography to masks from Nepal, Tibet or Sikkim.
It measures about 13 inches high by 9 inches wide.
It is in very good condition except for a few small cracks and losses to the wood. It has remnants of remaining overpaint in the crevices and recessed areas.
Comparables Note: a slightly larger mask with the original paint remaining is listed in Miller's Price Guide(2003) at $7,800-$9,400 (Sotheby's - NY)(see photo enlargement #4).
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 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 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 pair of charming 18th-19th century copper censors are in the form of small archaic wine jars. They have some verdigris on them but they are in excellent condition.
They measure 5 1/4 inches tall by about 4 1/2 inches wide.
The tripod feet are comprised of foo dogs or temple lions with elongated tongues. They have been used as candle holders at some time and retain a small amount of wax on the interior.
There are no marks on these censors. Circa 1780-1840's.
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.
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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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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 seated bronze Buddha in Sukhothai style most likely dates from the 16th to 18th century in Thailand. It may actually be earlier. but we prefer to be conservative in estimations .
It measures 16 inches tall by about 11 inches wide by 7 inches in depth.
It is in very good condition with areas of green patination and overall oxidation in various shades of pale to rusty brown. It has a few areas of casting loss, particularly on one end of the base (see the photo close ups). It also has a few areas where the bronze has either thinned out or pitted (again, primarily on the reverse of the base,)
The history of Thai sculpture dates from sometime during the thirteenth century, when a distinct national school emerged and broke away from Cambodian and Mon influences in terms of the stylistic development of Buddha images. Specific schools and sub-styles are defined on the basis of relatively slight variations in the prescribed dress, the treatment of the hair and so on.
This Buddha is seated on an undecorated pedestal in the cross-legged yogic posture of satvaparyankasana, the right leg placed over the left. His right hand is lowered, long fingers pointing downward in the earth touching gesture. The latter symbolizes Shakyamuni's triumph over the forces of the demon Mara, who attempted to distract him from his quest for enlightenment, a ubiquitous theme in Thai Buddhist art. The Buddha's monastic robe is worn leaving his right shoulder bare, and a long thin section of cloth representing his narrowly folded shawl falls downs from his left shoulder to below his navel terminating in two points.
This is an original pair of 18th-19th century wooden carvings of Chinese eunuchs 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 some 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.
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 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.
This Japanese Carved Wooden Mask measures 10 inches tall by 7 3/4 inches wide (ear to ear) by 4 inches in depth. It is also about 1 1/2 inches in thickness at center narrowing down to about 3/4 inch thick at edges.
It is carved from a tightly grained wood similar to those found in 19th century Japanese furniture.
It has a nice patina and retains traces of original pale maroon color in some areas.
It is in excellent condition and has wonderful parallel grooves over entire interior: most likely carving marks, but very finely detailed. They do not show up well in photos.
These two bronze figures date from the 17-18th century or earlier.
Each one represents either Mahakala or Samantabhadra standing on a prostrate human figure surrounded by a ring of fire and wearing a garland of severed human heads.
Each measures about 8 inches tall by 5 inches wide.
Both are in excellent condition except for a small square opening on the back of one.