Mori Bunrei (dates unknown). Hanging scroll with painting of insects simulating a samurai traveling with his entourage to or from the capital. A butterfly, suzumushi, praying mantises, yellow jackets and grass hoppers are traveling in a line, carrying flowers and grasses for poles, a hive and berries for luggage. Black ink and colors on silk. Signed Bunrei; two red seals reading bun and rei. Japan, mid 19th / second half 19th century.
Painted area: 14-½ x 20-1/8 inches. Total height: 461½ inches.
Painting with some light stains, otherwise in excellent condition, mounting damaged.
Mori Bunrei was the son and pupil of Mori Ippo (1798–1871), the Shijo painter. His style and technique closely follow those of his father’s.
A very similar painting by Nishiyama Hoen (1804-1867) is in the British Museum. This type of painting is typical for the Maruyama/Shijo school and could have originated with Maruyama Okyo.
Water jar on rounded bottom. Stoneware with dark brown slip-like glaze on the lower part, leaving the bottom free and a thin translucent glaze on the neck and mouth, both with fine crackle. A slender strip of engraved rope design decoration on the shoulder of the receptacle. Seto, Mino ware. Japan, Edo period.
H ca. 8-¼ inches.
Scratches on the body, worn down patches on the mouth, otherwise good condition.
Midsize storage jar of greyish stoneware, with the typical inclusions, with natural ash glaze. Japan, Edo period, 19th century or a bit earlier.
H 11-¼ inches.
Very good condition.
Unusually large sculpture of Daruma, made of a large stone grown into a tree’s root section. This phenomenon is referred to as ishikui (eating stone), ishidake (holding stone) or ishikami (stone gods).
Height: 25.5 inches; width at widest point: ca. 15 inches. Japan, 19th century.
Patina somewhat rubbed at top of the head and shoulders, due to handling, few nicks and chips, all in all very good condition.
Pieces like these are fairly rare and the height is usually around 12 inches. The stone is swallowed up by the tree, while it is growing. It is a phenomenon highly appreciated in bonsai, in which case the tree is manipulated into surrounding the stone. In large, this is a more natural occurrence, growing to look like a person wrapped in a garment, such as Kan’on and, less frequent, Daruma.
Pipecase of the otoshizutsu form carved out of stag antler with a décor in low relief of a tiger crouching on a rock with sprigs of bamboo surrounding the rock. Surrounding the himotoshi is more bamboo. Unsigned. Japan, 19th century.
H 7 7/8 inches
Worn with old damages in thinner areas of the stag horn and small hole approximately where the pipe head would be, further scraped off with a knife.
Comes with a root wood tonkotsu or tobacco container (H: 3 inches) and an ojime made of wood covered with lacquer and with mother-of-pearl inlays.
Stoneware vase of the tokkuri shape, probably made in Seto. Over a greyish brown clay a greenish beige glaze on the body and brown glaze on the neck. Over the glaze an enamel decoration in moriage technique of an octopus and two toads in a tug of war over a basket filled with vegetables. The toads are trying to pull lotus stalks out of the octopus’ tentacles, while the octopus is waving a big daikon over its head. Unsigned. Japan, Meiji period, early 20th century.
Height ca. 9 ¾ inches.
Excellent condition with minimal traces of usage.
Small shrine presenting the Buddha of Medicine and Healing, Yakushi Nyorai, standing on a multi-tiered base, holding a sacred jewel in his left hand. Wooden sculpture with finely painted gold decoration. On the gilded doors of the shrine lotus flowers and lotus leaves painted in black ink and mineral colors. The shrine is a black lacquered wooden case. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Height shrine: 5.5 inches (14 cm).
Some touch-ups of black lacquer on outside of shrine, otherwise excellent condition.
Small shrine presenting the Amida sanzon. Wooden sculpture of standing Amida Buddha, carefully decorated in gold, standing on a lotus base surrounded by clouds. On the doors of the shrine are painted in black ink, mineral colors and gold Seishi bosatsu with his hands folded in prayer and Kannon bosatsu holding the lotus base. The Amida triad is descending to Earth to welcome the deceased to Western Paradise (raigo). The shrine itself is a gold lacquered wooden case with very fine metal hardware. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Height shrine: 6.5 inches (16.5 cm).
Figure: Few repaired breaks (one hand, one cloud, one tip of a cloud), two tiny missing pieces. Shrine: chips and abrasions on edges. All in all excellent condition.
A pair of medium size guardians, nio. The one on the right with his mouth closed wards off evil with one hand and holding a now lost object in the other. The Nio on the left, with his mouth wide open, holds a single pronged vajra in one hand while warding off evil with the other. Soft wood (kiri or sugi) with lots of traces of mineral colors (red, blue, green). Japan, Edo period, late 18th, early 19th century.
Height: circa 33.5 inches.
Some repairs, few cracks, basically in very good and stable condition.
A pair of nio figures, standing on a rock-shaped base. Wood with red, black ochre and green lacquer. The eyes inlaid in glass or crystal. Typical style of an unidentified studio that has been active at least since the 18th century and that often produced oni no nembutsu, ceremonial dagger holder in the shape of demons and other often witty subject matter. Japan, early 19th century.
Height: circa 20.5 inches and 21 inches.
A: wooden kegs in feet re-placed and refitted (with pegs). A and Um: Some restored and unrestored cracks, all in all excellent condition.
De-accessioned from the Denver Art Museum. Original label still on the bottom.
Study of an elephant holding a piece of wood with its trunk, his skin hanging loosely about him. Dark brown patinated, light weight wood, the eyes inlaid in buffalo horn, the tusks bone. Japan, 19th century.
Length: 15.5 inches (39.1 cm)
Pupil to one eye missing, otherwise fine condition.
The god of rice, called Inari in its Shinto manifestation, and Dakini-ten in its Buddhist manifestation, riding on the back of a fox, holding tow sheaves of rice over his right shoulder and a sickle in his left hand, now lost. The fox carved out a single piece of wood, the deity carved out of multiple pieces, pegged together. Soft, light wood with traces of gesso. Japan, Edo period, early 19th century?
Figure stripped bare, colors completely missing, repairs, pole that carries the rice is missing, some chips, nicks and dents, all in all good stable condition.
Height ca. 17 inches (ca. 44.5 cm) , length ca. 22 inches (ca. 56 cm).