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).
This Meiji period JAPANESE KUTANI BOWL measures 10 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep.
It is in excellent condition with slight wear to the gilding as would be expected .
It is signed on the bottom (see enlargement).
This Japanese Satsuma Vase is unmarked, 15 inches tall and about 9 inches in diameter.
It dates to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and has Kwannon and Lohans with an elephant pictured upon it.
It is in excellent condition with some light rubbing on the high relief gilded areas exposing an outstanding crackle beneath.
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 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 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.
This Meiji period JAPANESE KUTANI VASE measures 7 inches in diameter and 11 inches tall. We date this one circa 1880-1910.
It is in excellent condition overall with the raised gilding in outstanding condition.
It is unsigned, but there is a hand painted mark on the bottom edge that looks like: I I I O .
This hand painted ceramic vase measures about 10 inches (24.5 cm)tall by 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter at it's widest point.
It dates circa 1870-1900 (during the late Meiji Period) in Japan.
It is in excellent condition with virtually all of the high relief gilding intact.
This Japanese ceramic figure of Kannon measures 17 inches tall and about 6 inches in diameter at its widest point.
It has four incised marks on it's base, two Kutani marks and two potters mark (see closeup photo).
It dates to the Meiji Period in Japan. Kwannon is also known as Kannon or Kwan Yin and Guanyin in China.
It is in outstanding condition with no flaws, cracks, chips or losses.
This original, signed painting on wooden panel measures 17 1/2 inches by 18 inches (44cm x 46 cm) not including the ornately carved wooden frame it sits in. With frame, it measures 23 1/2 by 24 inches.
The subject of the painting is two samurai with drawn blades.
It is signed on both the front and reverse of the painting. There is also an additional hand painted seal in the upper right corner.
We date this painting to the late Meiji Period, although it is quite possible that it could be much earlier.
The condition of the painting is very good, but there are a few minor scrapes to the soft wood evident in the picture, but only from a certain angle. They really do not detract from the charm of this outstanding work.
Last, but not least, the frame is an amazing example of wood carving, and in outstanding condition.
This blue & white ceramic bottle or jar measures 9 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches in diameter.
It is hand painted with scenes in cobalt blue on a white ground.
It is in excellent condition with a few natural fissures and irregularities to the glaze (see close up photos).
We estimate it to date circa 1700-1900.
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).