The only differences between this matching pair of Japanese woman's hair combs are the very slight details in the hand-painted design and the size and spacing of the tines. The finely detailed lacquer design was painted in 3 shades of gold. Unfortunately the minute details, flower petals and tree knots are hard to see in the photos.
Carved from bamboo, this charming old Chinese brush rest was shipped back to the US by an American missionary Rebecca Cloud Stewart. It was designed to hold 2 mid-sized brushes. The name Huang Hua Fu is written on the back. Possibly he was one of China's less prosperous calligraphers. 3.5" x 3.5" it is in very good condition.
Using these Chinese lotus-shaped lacquer tea saucers simplified passing and serving hot tea. Traditional Chinese symbols are delicately painted with copper color over a black lacquer background. There is a double happiness symbol at each end along with clouds, water waves and lucky bat symbol in the center. The back side is traditional Chinese red.
Hanging from the belt on a leather strap, the stylized milking hook was the essential item of ornamentation for any Tibetan woman properly dressed for a festival. Surrounding the hook surface is a heavy etched silver band. The bronze/brass hook has is etched with markings and is inset with 5 large coral beads, each set in a silver bezel. The original leather strap shows lots of wear.
These ceremonial hooks have become hard to obtain...
This old Japanese hook would have been suspended over the hearth and used to hang cooking pots over the fire. Obviously carved by the original owner/user, this pothook or jizai kagi is heavily grooved from many years of use. The attached rope is probably a replacement to the original rope. It has been knotted into place for some years and I decided not to attempt to remove it.
This pair of Kingfisher hair ornaments are from my personal collection. The kingfisher bird feathers are in very good condition and the ornaments are 4 inches across at their widest point. Each piece has its original hair pin attached to the paper back with a wire.
The kingfisher bird feathers were a favorite item used to decorate ornaments for both hair and clothing, usually hats and headbands. The earliest ornaments had large feathered areas which were glued to a paper/cardboard back...
This piece dates to the 1880's late Edo, early Meiji Periods of Japan. It was made before the wireless technique was perfected as evidenced by the cracks in the background field of the central dragon. The outer rim of the back of the plate has a swirl pattern typical of the period. The dragon is clearly a happy guy.
plate has a diameter of 7 inches. Charming piece, no dings.
Bamboo Vests were used as undershirts under silk garments. They served the duel purpose of allowing some air circulation and protected the silk garments from body oils. These vest were fragile and they have become very rare and hard to find. They were made with small pieces of bamboo which are literally strung together to form a garment. This bamboo vest is a particularly nice one...
Very dramatic deeply concave oval shaped African shield from Ethiopia. The animal hide is scraped free of hair and then placed over a shaped board with protrusions which will allow for greater protection in warding off blows. The edge is tightly rolled and there are added tool marks for heightened decoration. The handle is tied and knotted into place at a slight angle to allow for a more comfortable hold.
Shield is 21 inches at the widest point and about 6 inches deep...
A pair of cranes is carved into the top of this Qing Dynasty peach shaped inkbox. Inside the box remains a supply of dried ink and the on the inside top is an inkstone for "grinding" future ink. A pair of birds (considered to mate for life) was a common symbol used to represent a long and happy marriage. The Peach symbol represents long life. This combination (the peach with a pair of birds) was considered a suitable gift for the parents anniversary
Instead of shoes, sandals such as these were worn in villages throughout India. Hand carved from indigenous woods, frequently teak and fitted to the individual wearer. The knob on the toe prevented the sandals from falling off and no other attachment was used.
This is a very nicely carved old traditional Tibetan ritual Phurba and it is a bit worn from use. The Phurba was brought back to the US in the 60's by a man who had taken a year off and gone trekking about from Turkey across to Nepal.
The Phurba is a special triple sided Tibetan ritual stake, which originated as a stake that tethered sacrifical animals...