Wooden sculpture of a Bodhisattva, his body slightly bent forward and hands folded in prayer as Seishi bosatsu does in the Amida raigo. Perhaps, though, he is a monk or priest. Skin parts (head, arms, chest) in gilt lacquer, eyes glass, garment richly decorated in red and light blue with gilded dragons, and with gilding around the seams. The man is standing on a square base that was added. Stains on his head suggest that formerly there may have been jewelry. Japan, around 1800.
Height with base ca. 13.75 inches (ca. 35 cm).
Good condition. Slight crumbling of the red lacquer and the gold here and there in the garment.
Large hanging scroll portraying Omusha, a yearly ceremony held at an exchange market of the trading post. Towards the left sit the inspector of the Tokugawa shogunate (hence the crests on the curtains), towards the right sit the dignitaries of the Ainu. On the red carpet official magistrates and other officials can be recognized, who were stationed in the region. The lacquer containers hold sake and on top are bunches of tobacco that will be presented to the Ainu. Signed on the byobu in the background, on the scroll painting in the alcove and in the lower right corner: Byozan, fisherman, with the seals Hirasawa shi in and Byozan. Dated in the lower right: A fall day in the year of the sheep (=1871).
Painted area: ca. 22.5 x 46 inches (ca. 57 x 118 cm). Mounting: ca. 66.4 x 50.6 inches (ca. 168.7 x 128.5 cm).
Several tears in the silk, but overall condition is excellent and colors are very vivid.
Hirasawa Byozan (1822-1876) moved from his native Osaka to Hakodata between 1844 and 1847, painting ema (votive images) for a living. He regularly visited the Tokachi and Horoizumi regions where he lived and associated with the Ainu. Tokachi and Horoizumi were trading posts under control of the Sugiura family. After spending time there, he would go back home to Hakodate and paint the scenes that he had witnessed. Being a heavy drinker, he would spend his earned money on alcohol and food. He died in poverty at the age of 54/55.
As of 1855 the Tokugawa shogunate directly controlled Ezo. The situation depicted must have taken place between 1855 and 1868. Byozan has made several of these paintings with only minor variations, as he did with virtually all his subjects. Often he neither signed, nor dated his work. A signed and dated painting by Byozan is rather rare.
Recommended literature: The Seasons and Life of the Ainu; Tokachi Ainu and the Painter Byozan Hirasawa, exhibition catalogue of the Hokkaido Obihiro Museum of Art, July 2-28, 1999.
Decorative hanging from a Buddhist temple. Fan-shaped with a design of a sacred jewel and four lotus flowers set between karakusa (winding weeds). The knotted cord cradles the jewel and surrounds an inscription which names the temple, the donor and the date of donation of the 7th month of the 9th year of Kanbun. The openwork design is very carefully executed in thin bronze, the details engraved. Japan, Edo period, 17th century.
Height 11.5 in., width 11.8 in. (29.2 x 30.2 cm).
Slightly warped at places, beautiful green and brown patina with spots of corrosion, all in all good condition.
Step-on image in bronze of Christ on the cross before a town-setting. The scene cast in high relief, the background in low relief. The heavy piece is standing on four corner-feet. Signed on the side Yoshisuke saku. The back inscribed Kanbun kyunen junigatsu hi kore tsukuru (made on a day in the 12th month of the year Kanbun 9 (1669); niju no uchi ni (no. 2 from 20); Aratame jashumon yo, kurumehan (For examining the wrong faith, the Kurume clan).
7.25 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches (18.3 x 14 x 3.5 cm).
Surface strongly rubbed, some corrosion, basically excellent condition.
Step-on pictures, or fumi-e, or ebumi, were images of the Virgin Mary or of Jesus that Japanese authorities used to make people suspected to be Christians to step upon. This practice was executed during the Tokugawa regime, in an effort to ban Christianity from the country. By 1629 this practice was generally spread throughout Japan and it was only abandoned completely at the beginning of the Meiji period. All kinds of media were used to make images: wood, stone, prints and bronze.
In 1669 the bronze founder Hagiwara Yoshiysuke was ordered to cast 20 fumie with prescribed images (5 pieces with ecce homo, 5 pieces with Christ on the cross, 5 with the pieta and 5 with the saint Rosario). A piece with the image of the pieta is in the Gakushuin Museum of History in Tokyo.
Superb sculpture of the deity Fudo Myoo, sitting on the top of a many tiered base decorated with 6 metal rinbo, holding the sling and the sword. He sits completely wrapped in his flaming mandorla. Wood with extremely fine decoration, eyes probably glass. Japan, mid Edo period, 18th century.
Height, incl. mandorla: ca. 12.3 inches (31.5 cm).
Few cracks along the seams of the sculpture; some loss of pigments; some retouches, esp. in the gold; flames with several restored areas, but with the original pieces. Sword may be a later replacement.
Scroll painting with the image of five hunters (two carrying a rifle on their backs) warming up at a fire next to a snow covered thatched hut. The painting is a rendering of the 28th print from the famous series Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki (one hundred poems explained by the nurse), Minamoto no Muneyuki ason. It is an allusion to the poem by Minamoto no Muneyuki, about the deep loneliness in the mountains, when the winter has come and all guests have left. Black ink and colors on silk. Signature at lower right: Kakyojin (the man who is crazy about painting) Hokusai ga. Red seal: Hokusai.
Paper label on the back dating the piece into the 1820s. The print series was published in 1836. The addition of kakyojin was used towards the end of his life. In the last years of his life, Hokusai has produced extremely fine brush work. All this would lead to believe that the original painting, if there was such, was created in the 1830s/1840s. The style is very close to that of Hokusai himself, but it is unclear whether the piece was done by a person in his immediate proximity or later on.
Painted area (silk): 32 7/8 x 13 ¼ in. (83.5 x 33.8 cm); total length: 62 1/8 in. (157.8 cm).
Very good condition.
Wooden box, inscribed on cover top: Katsushika Hokusai hitsu, setchu ryojin zu (image of hunters in the snow). Inside of cover also inscribed: Hokusai Iitsu zoku …mitsu hikken. Red seal. Label on the side, describing the contents of the box.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).
Hanging scroll with image in ink and colors on silk of a tiger mother licking her cub underneath a rock. Signature in lower left: Echizen no suke Ganku and seal ..gan Kishi Ganku. Kishi Ganku (1756 or 1749 - 1839). Comes with fitted wooden box and carton protection box with seal. Japan.
Painted area: 44 x 16.5 inches (111.7 x 42 cm). Total length: 78.6 inches (199.7 cm).
Hanging scroll with image in ink, red, gofun and gold on paper of the bodhisattva Fugen in twenty-armed form sitting on a lotus throne guarded by the four guardian kings each standing on the head of an elephant, the whole being carried by a crowd of elephants. The black outlines printed, the image subsequently colored by hand. To the lower left the name of the donor: Reiun Jogan. Japan, Muromachi period.
Painted area: 21.4 x 12.75 inches (54.3 x 32.2 cm). Total length: 56.25 inches (142.9 cm).
Several restored damages, consistent with its age.
Hanging scroll with painting in ink on paper of the bodhisattva Fugen sitting on the back of his companion the elephant on a rock at the edge of a river or stream. With one hand Fugen holds a walking stick pressed against his chest, and with the other hand he holds a rosary. To his right side there is a pagoda-like object just visible. In the lower corners there are four red seals. Japan, early Edo period, 17th century.
Painted area: 50.5 x 23.5 inches (128.2 x 59.7 cm). Total length: 86.3 inches (219.2 cm).
Several restored areas, as to be expected with a piece this age.
Hanging scroll in ink and some color on browned silk of a barefooted traveler on a country road drinking from a wine kettle. Next to him a basket full of red spotty fruits between leaves. The man is warmly dressed in fur, a sword strapped to his back, a gourd dangling from his sash. His cane on the ground. Signed in the upper left Yangzhi and two seals. One extra seal next to the signature. Yangzhi was active around 1700. China, Qing dynasty.
Painted area: ca. 46.1 x 23.5 inches (117 x 59.5 cm). Total length: 86 inches (218.5 cm).
Good condition, few stains.
Yangzhi worked around 1700 as one of the last painters of large religious wall paintings. He is known for portraits of daoists, buddhists, hermits, gods and ghosts.
Scroll painting in black ink on paper of the characters Fukurokuju which is the name of one of the seven gods of good luck. Short date inscription on the upper left, 1842. Signed ... Eiko (Nagamichi) hitsu and sealed on the left side. Japan. Original mounting, porcelain scroll ends. Back inscribed Fukurokuju and Miyoshi Eiko.
Painted area: 48.1 x 22.75 inches (122.2 x 57.8 cm). Total length: 75.1 inches (190.8 cm)
Several damaged and partly restored areas along the upper margin, several horizontal creases, one vertical crease in the middle, mounting weak along upper roller and with hole.
Basket for flower arrangement in the shape of a carp, meant to be affixed vertically. Unfortunately needing restoration. Very rare shape. Japan, first half 20th century.
Length 11 ¼ inches (28.6 cm).
One eye missing, fins missing.
Wooden sculpture of the bodhisattva Jizo, hands folded together in prayer, standing on a lotus base. His face very serene and beautiful. Surface darkened by soot, some lighter color still visible, crystal eyes. Head loose, inside piece of paper rolled onto a wooden stick. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Height 14.75 inches (37.5 cm).
Fine crackle in face, otherwise good condition.
Tea bowl on high foot with high sides. Craemy gray clay with gray transparent glaze, on which in multi colors and gold a gathering of old men is depicted, busy with different occupations such as calligraphy, go and drinking tea. Bowl signed at lower side: Koki ..suke saku.
Diam. 4 3/8 in. ; H 3 in. (11 cm; 7.8 cm)
Small shrine with very fine carving of of the guardian deity Bishamonten, holding a halberd and standing on the back of a crouching demon. The halberd and crown are made of sheet metal, with traces of gilding. The demon in wood and lacquer, the latter one chipping slightly. Japan, 18th century.
Height of case: ca. 12.5 inches (32 cm).
Case: skirt loosened, restored and chipping crack in right hand door, restored crack in roof. Figure: demon with rubbed spots and some lacquer chips, Bishamon in good condition.
Wooden sculpture of the bodhisattva Myoken, deity of the Polar Star and of the Big Dipper. He is dressed in Chinese garment, standing on the back of a dragon-like turtle or minogme, holding a sword. Behind his back a nimbus with six discs (one missing), representing the seven stars of the Big Dipper. A snake wound itself around the turtle. Wood with fine decorations in gold, black and red. Japan, Edo period, around 1800.
Height ca 7 inches (17.8 cm).
Tip of snake’s tail missing, some re-gilding on the shoulders, otherwise very good condition.
Hollow phallus, perhaps used as incense burner or water container, of ceramic, molded and joined and fired at low temperature. This type of object is used in Shinto shrines, devoted to fertility. Seal impressed in bottom. Japan. Probably Meiji period or somewhat later.
H ca. 6.5 inches (16.5 cm).
Netsuke in the shape of a peach stone. The stone is carved in two halves. One half is holding a small carving of the figure of Seiobo, the fairy queen, sitting on a hinge so that she can move out of her hiding place. Dark stained wood for the pit, Seiobo in a reddish brown wood, the himotoshi fitted with bone rings (both slightly damaged). On an inlaid plaque is the signature of Kagetoshi. Japan, 19th century.
L of shell ca. 1.75 in. (4.6 cm).
Very good condition.