Small bronze sculpture of the Chinese monk Xuanzang (Jap. Genjo Sanzo) with a pile of Buddhist scriptures rolled up and stacked in the pack on his back and a lotus leaf over his head from which dangles an incense burner, as he returns to China from India. In his hands he was holding a scroll and a fly whisk that are today missing. Figure stands on an irregularly shaped base. Japan, mid to late Edo period, 18/19th century.
Height incl. base ca. 5.25 inches (13.3 cm).
Figure slightly at angle, although no stress marks visible in the bronze. Incense burner slightly bent, hands slightly damaged, missing the attributes.
Stoneware moon flask, decorated on one side with three pieces of cloth hanging in the wind from a flowering cherry tree (the cherry blossoms in tiny specks of silver, the clouds done in gold); on the other side with peonies that are covered against late spring snow (the snow on the cover and the veins of the leaves in silver, the outlines of the peony petals in gold). On the rounded side an irregular pattern in tea dust glaze, sprinkled with cherry blossoms in silver. The neck and foot are glazed iron red and are decorated with silver karakusa. Bottom with underglaze impressed mark Taizan and with overglaze signature Dainihon Taizan sei. Stoneware with creamy crackled glaze and polychrome enamels, iron red, silver and gold. Japan, mid Meiji era.
Height 7.5 inches (19 cm), width ca. 6 inches (15,2 cm).
Gold somewhat rubbed, silver oxidized but easily restorable. Very good condition.
The Takahashi family started producing for the export market (mainly USA) in 1872. The kiln was closed in 1894 under the 9th generation Taizan. Since both body and decoration of the flask are marked Taizan, it can be safely accepted that this flask stems from before 1894. After the closing of the kiln, the last Taizan occasionally seemed to have decorated blank objects from other manufactures, among whom Kinkozan.
Hanging scroll, black ink on paper and a touch of red. Two men in a pavilion within a magnificent mountain landscape. To the left a small waterfall joins a river that commands much of the lower half of the painting . On the upper right side a two-lined verse, signed and sealed Muraan soken. Japan, probably Edo period.
Painted area: inches (93.5 x 32.2 cm); mounting (181.5 x 45 cm).
Comes with an in gold lacquer inscribed black lacquer box ‘Sansui no zu, Muraan san. Kano Masanobu hitsu’, in a red lacquered box inscribed with the length of the painting in sun.
Slightly toned, some creases backed with thin strips underneath the backing, basically very good condition.
Kano Masanobu (1434?-1530) was the alleged founder of the Kano school of painting, even though his son Motonobu was more influential. The poem was written by the Monk Muraan, who lived 1403 - 1488.
Wooden panel, presumably keyaki, inlaid and mounted with pieces of wood and stagantler in the shape of a celestial dragon, surrounded by islands of clouds. The pieces are mounted partly with the help of nails. The inlay in the upper left corner is engraved with the name Ichiryu. No craftsman with that name is known to have been working in stagantler. Japan, Taisho or early Showa period. Framed in a faux-bamboo frame from the same period.
Measurements: 20.5 x 23 inches (52 x 58.4 cm); with frame 1.75 inches (4.4 cm) thick.
Excellent condition. Signature plate has been re-fitted.
The pieces of wood have the structure and softness of driftwood. The stagantler is cut into extremely thin slices. Even if the artist may not be identified as a known wood or staghorn artisan, he certainly was a dexterious craftsman.
Wooden ihai or mortuary tablet, the top crowned with clouds. This type of object usually holds the posthumous Buddhist name of a deceased and is placed in a butsudan. The ihai can also be used to pay homage to, for instance, a certain sutra. In this case a homage to one of the Kings of Hell. The ihai is decorated with the triple begonia-mon of the Tokogawa family. Lacquer on wood.
The painting, in black ink and color on paper behind glass, shows Emma-O, the judge of hell of the 35th day, surrounded by his attributes, Datsueba and other assistants and the soul of a deceased that he is about to judge. Some of the punishments for sins are being depicted in the background. Japan, 19th century.
Height: 29.8 inches (75.8 cm).
Very good condition, few abrasions.
Small figure of a tiger, sitting on a rocky base, tail curled around his haunches, his head up as if picking up a scent. Cast in two pieces, but securely mounted. Signed on bottom: Shohoken. Japan, Nagasaki?, Edo period.
Height: ca. 3.1 inches (7.8 cm).
Fine condition. Some scratches on the bottom.
Tall slender vase with slightly narrowed waist and square shoulder. The ribbed body of middle brown coarse clay covered with two elongated patches of thin brown glaze. The lip with splashes of green glaze, inside gray glaze. Karatsu ware. Japan, late Edo period.
Height: 12.25 inches (30.5 cm).
Firing crack in bottom, NOT trough and through, otherwise mint condition.
Highly unusual shrine with the image of a horse looking back. The horse has a ‘brocade’ cover over his back and is standing behind a mesh wire fence, the way they would be kept in temple compounds. Polychoromed wood with some gold details. The roof of the shrine is a separate piece. Japan, Meiji period, 19th century.
Height of zushi ca. 7.8 inches (19.5 cm).
Frontal baldachin dislodged but still extant, one door lost its hinge-functions (triangular splinter on right door on last photo), some chipping of the paint on brocade cover of horse. Otherwise very good condition.
This piece needs to be seen as a form of ema, which were offered to temples and shrines as a calling to the deity. The horse is seen to be used by various deities.
Small reliquary, in the shape of a five-element stupa, gorinto, made of rock crystal. The stupa is built according to the Five Elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether). The base is octagonal in shape (which may be square, as well), as is the bottom part of the cover (which may be triangular, as well). The reliquary is made of two pieces of crystal: earth and water (the water segment can hold the relic); fire, air and ether. Japan, prob. 18/19th century.
Height 6 7/8 inches (17.5 cm)
Some tiny chips at edge of ‘stopper’, otherwise excellent condition.
Very elaborate double-hinged door shrine with the wooden figure of a sitting Amida Buddha, both hands in mudra before him. Behind his head and back a double mandorla. Amida is sitting on a lotus pedestal on top of a multi-tiered base in flower-shaped profile. His garment decorated in fine gold hand painted flower and geometric patterns. All details of the base accentuated in hand painted gold.
The outside of the zushi in red lacquer with a tiny carving of a phoenix on the top front, richly engraved hardware. The inside of the zushi doors decorated with lotus flowers in gold and mineral colors on gold. The baldachin decorated in mineral colors and gold with Buddhist symbols.
Extremely fine carving of Buddha, mandorla and base.
Japan, Edo period 18/19th century.
Height of zushi ca. 3.9 inches (9.7 cm).
Painting on the inside doors rubbed, fraction of tip of mandorla missing, carving in excellent condition.
Small shrine with the esoteric Buddhist figure of the Fudo Myôô. He is standing on a rock pedestal with a lasso in his left hand and formerly with a sword in his left hand. Behind him a flaming mandorla. The patterns on his garment and his jewelry painted delicately in gold and mineral colors. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Height of zushi: ca. 5.8 inches (14.6 cm).
Baldachin broken and restored, rubbed on gold decoration; sword missing. Shrine with usual wear and tear, hard ware loose in places. All in all very good condition.
Elegant wooden sculpture of a nude woman, standing in a pensive pose, one knee slightly bent, her chin resting in her right hand. The wood is sculpted in a slightly faceted manner, giving the piece an almost abstract feel. Soft wood with green, yellow and oil based paint. Piece let into a square wooden base. Exhibition label at the base. Titel: Fumiko. Name of participant: Sakaba Yasuo. Address in the Tokyo Arakawa-ward, Nishi-Ogu. The venue: Sokei exhibition, which is the Art Academy in Tokyo. Japan, second half 20th century, prob. 1960s.
Height ca. 18.6 inches (46.5 cm)
Few material cracks that were there right from creation.
Today, in Tokyo in Arakawa ward along the river Sumida, in Higashi-Ogu, there still is a Sakaba family member who carves wooden Buddhist sculptures.
Small shrine with inside a reliquary or sharito in the shape of a flaming wish-granting jewel. Crystal jewel holding relics. The reliquary made of gilded bronze with fine engraved and punched decoration. Japan, Momoyama period (ca. 1568-1600).
Height sharito: 4.1 inches (10.4 cm); height zushi: 5.4 inches (13.5 cm).
Gilding of sharito virtually rubbed off, otherwise good condition. Zushi with traces of usage.
A very similar sharito is illustrated in Ultimate Sanctuaries: The Aesthetics of Buddhist Relic Worship, Nara National Museum, 2001, p. 158, dated Muromachi period. The shape of the flames and the decoration on the flames is very similar. The piece in the catalogue has most of its gilding.
Highly unusual view of a Buddhist service. In the center sits a priest surrounded by 13 monks. They are all sitting on tatami mats, their hands folded in prayer around rosaries. In the back plays a group of musicians. In the background an altar with a painting of the Buddha Amida, flanked by portraits of priests. Very unusual painting with extremely realistic faces. Black ink and colors and gold on silk. Japan, allegedly painted in 1935, probably on special order or for a special occasion.
Measurements: ca. 27.5 x 46.5 inches (69 x 116 cm). Framed.
Few stains and creases, otherwise excellent condition.
Even though the year 1935 is not verifiable, the highly realistic style of the painting and the very typical Japanese subject matter point in the direction of the Nihonga movement that was very strong in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s.
Two paintings of a abbots or patriarch sitting on a small pedestal. One of them holds a vajra in the right hand and a tip of his garment in the left hand. His sandals are underneath the pedestal as well as a ewer. The other priest holds a flat device in his right hand and a tip of his garment in his left hand. Underneath the pedestal are his sandals. Very detailed painting. Black ink, mineral colors, gofun and gold on loosely woven silk (ca. 30 over 14 threads). Japan, ca 14/15th century.
The painted areas are built up from 2 panes of silk each, stitched together in broad stitches, consistent with the Muromachi period.
Frames: ca. 54 ½ x 25 5/8 inches (ca. 140 x 66 cm).
Mounting scrollers cut off and framed with mounting. Very good condition.