Small plate decorated with rare decoration of three happy whales, swimming in the waves with their tails up and two of the spouting water before a coast with mountains. Two sailing boats in the far distance. Underglaze blue and black, overglaze white, gold and iron red. Back decorated with fish net design in iron red and gold and some underglaze blue and overglaze golden fishes. Signed in the center: Zoshuntei Hisatomi. Japan, late Meiji until before 1925.
H. 1 1/8 in. x D 8 3/8 in.
Gold on rim worn, otherwise fine condition.
Zoshuntei was a foreign trade porcelain company that was started by Hisatomi Yojibei Masatsune and his oldest son Masayasu. It was officially granted the name Zoshuntei in 1842. For two generations the company did well, until the family lost the license to the competition. A nephew of Masatsune tried to revive the company in 1911 by turning it into a factory, but had to close his doors finally in 1925.
Large jug with broad shoulder, tapering body and flaring mouth. Brown smooth stoneware covered with large splashes of brown, green and white glaze, creating rich colors and different textures. Very tactile piece. Could be Mashiko or Koishibara. Japan, Taisho/Showa era, early 20th century.
Height ca. 17 ½ in. x width ca 12 ¼ in.
Chawan in Raku style, made in dry lacquer technique (kanshitsu) simulating ceramic. The lacquer is applied in such a way that you see small crevices and patches of red and brownish black lacquer in the same way we see it in Raku ware. Japan, Meiji era.
H ca. 3 ½ inches, dia. Ca. 4 ½ inches.
Comes with brocade pouch and plain wooden box.
Large Buddhist shrine with ‘double doors’, holding the figure of the three-eyed Shomen Kongo in his appearance with six arms, accompanied by four attendants. He is adorned with a skull necklace, bracelets in the shape of coiled snakes around his arms and ankles, holding halberd and chakra, bow and arrow, sword and human being, trampling on a demon. Initially Shomen was a pest spreading demon who after conversion to Buddhism became a guardian deity against wild animals, demons spreading disease and love(!) and against the wild weather deities. Wood decorated in mineral colors and gold, gilded sheet metal for mandorla, attributes and crown. Japan, Edo period, early 19th, perhaps late 18th century.
H of case ca. 15 ½ inches.
Case with damages, figure group with some scuffs, losses and repairs, all in all good and stable and original condition.
Extremely rare. A pair of hand shrines for husband and wife, showing on the inside the bodhisattva Fugen (larger one) and Monju (smaller one). Monju – on the lion - is holding a nyoi scepter, while Fugen – on the elephant – holds a lotus flower topped by a pagoda. Extremely fine carving, especially fine in the rendering of the lion and the elephant with exquisite painting in mineral colors, gofun and gold. The outside of each shrine covered in fine nashiji lacquer, over which in slightly raised gold lacquer a Tokugawa mon on the cover and the same mon on the back in silver. The zushi must have been made by special order for someone in the Tokugawa family line. Japan, Edo period, early 19th century.
H 2-½ inches; 2-9/16 inches.
Comes with kiri-wood storage box.
Fugen and Monju bosatsu (Compassion and Wisdom) are the two bodhisattva that accompany the historical Buddha Shakyamuni / Shaka Nyorai.
Very large Buddhist shrine holding the figure of the senju-sengen Kannon, the 1000-armed and 1000-eyed Kannon. In this form he embodies compassion that sees suffering and acts to relieve it. He is connected to the six realms, saving hungry ghosts. The sculpture actually has 42 arms and 13 heads. The main hands are folded in prayer; the others are holding (pairs of) attributes. His head is adorned with an intricate golden crown, his chest with golden necklace. Gilded wood with some red and black paint; thin gilded metal and tiny glass beads. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
H of case: ca. 24 inches.
Few traces of usage. 3 cracks in the face, few cracks on arms. Otherwise excellent original condition.
Zushi with beautiful hardware on the front; inside the figure of Yakushi Nyorai (medicine Buddha), sitting on a high lotus throne, holding the medicine jar in his left hand and with his right hand making the gesture of picking medical herbs. He is surrounded by 16 rakan, painted onto the inside of the doors (not decals). On the mardorla behind his head two apsara are painted, playing the sho and the flute. High quality carving. Wood decorated in mineral colors and gold. Japan, Edo period, late 18th century, perhaps early 19th century.
H of case ca. 9 ¼ inches.
Painting on the doors a bit darkened, slightly chipping; some lotus petal with tiny chip, otherwise in very good condition.
Nichiren Buddhist shrine with the sculpture of Kishimojin holding an infant in her left arm and raising her right hand in a kind of mudra. Wood beautifully decorated in mineral colors and gold. Japan, Edo period, around 1800.
H of case ca. 9 ½ inches.
Paint a bit flaking at top of figure, otherwise very good condition.
Kishimojin, or Kariteimoten originally was a demon who had a thousand children. Still she would eat the children of others. Buddha’s teachings converted her. She is a guardian deity of Buddhism, especially of small children. In Nichiren Buddhism she is venerated as guardian deity for easy birth and raising children.
She sometimes is shown as a standing figure, sometimes in the shape of a male demon, more often as a female figure with a baby in her arms and several small children around her. In one of her hands she may hold a pomegranate (symbol of fertility) that Shakyamuni gave her to bite into, if she felt a craving for children’s flesh. The male and female, demonic and human shapes sometimes merge, showing her different aspects in one statue.
Several different states of Kishimojin can be found in our listings.
Buddhist shrine showing the Amida triad (Amida sanzon), coming out of Paradise to meet the dying and accompany their souls to the Western Paradise. In the middle stands Amida Nyorai, both his hands in mudra. To his right Kannon bosatsu holding the lotus and to his left Seishi bosatsu with his hands folded in prayer. Very well carved soft wood, such as sugi, stained a beautiful brown. The figures are all sunk into the bottom of the zushi. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
H case ca. 12 inches.
A few breaks repaired (mainly in the mandorlas), all in all very good condition.
Nichiren Buddhist shrine with the image of Kishimojin inside in demonic appearance, her hands folded in prayer. Wood sculpture with beautifully painted details. Eyes inlaid in glass or crystal. Japan, Edo period around 1800.
H of case 12 inches.
Hanging scroll. Three toads personify war lords waging war against each other, mounted on snails and suzumushi, while ants, bees, spiders, suzumushi, earwigs and praying mantises are doing the actual fighting. Ants with guns in the background. Signed Bunko Shotei ga, and with red seal reading Shotei. Ink and mineral colors on silk. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Image: H 37 ½ x W 13 ½ inches; whole H 65 x W 18 ½ inches.
Very rare composition. Most insect paintings depict daimyo procession persiflage (mitate), which is connected to peace time travel to and from the capital.
Although no information can be found on Shotei, the painting is clearly in the tradition of the Maruyama/Shijo school. Most or all paintings with insect processions, or fox processions in light colors, fading into the background were painted by Maruyama/Shijo painters, among whom Nishiyama Hoen. Many of Hoen’s paintings are in the British Museum.
Scroll painting of two intertwining dragons. One coming out of the sky, the other out of the seas. Signed Chikkei Seigyo and two seals, reading Seigyo no in and azana Shofu. Ink on silk. Japan, late Edo period, Bakumatsu.
Painted area: H 50 x W 19 ¾ inches ; whole: 78 ½ x 25 ¼ inches
Nakabayashi Chikkei (1816-1867). Eldest son of Nakabayashi Chikuto. He learned painting from his father initially and then went to Yamamoto Baiitsu to learn nanga, but he also mastered the realistic style used in western painting. Nagoya.
Sculpture of Shomen Kongo, standing with 6 arms, holding ghanta and sword, bow and arrow, halberd and chakra. Shomen Kongo protects against demons and diseases. Wood stained black, with metal parts. Japan, Edo period, shortly after 1800.
H ca. 11 inches.
Sword missing, few traces of usage. All in all very good condition.
Small shrine holding the image of the Buddha Dainichi Nyorai, sitting on a lotus base, before a circular mandorla. Doors decorated on the inside with an exquisitely painted motif of star-shaped flowers. Wood decorated in mineral colors and gold. Very high quality. Thin metal for mandorla and crown. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
H of case ca. 5 inches.
Most of the crown missing, some traces of usage but all in all in excellent condition.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Ornament in the form of four lobed fan, as was used at the war scene. The wooden core is covered on one side with gold lacquer and decorated gold on gold with the sun, the moon and karakusa; the other side covered in silver lacquer and decorated in silver on silver with a star consellation. Japan, 19th century.
H 8 ½ inches.
Gold lacquer a bit worn, silver lacquer a bit scratched, along the middle axis the lacquer on both sides is cracked, few tiny lacquer chips along edges. All in all very good condition.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Ornament in the form of a karasu-tengu (crow tengu) mask, as used in the bugaku theater. Thin chased and corroded iron. Japan, 19th century.
H 5 ½ inches.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a helmet with a similar ornament. Accession no. 36.25.133a–d. Viewable online.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Antlers. Thin corroded bronze with patches of gilding. Japan, 20th century.
H 8 ¼ inches.
Hanging scroll. The eight-armed deity, bearing arms and a coiled snake (the deity Ugajin) on her head, sits on a lotus-leaf-seat, flanked by Daikoku and Bishamonten. Before her are the 15 disciples, or jugo doji, above her the sun and the moon.. Ink, mineral colors and gold on silk. Japan, Muromachi period, around 1500.
Painted area: H 38 3/8 in. x W 18 5/8 in.
Few horizontal creases, but all in all in excellent condition.
A similar painting of Benzaiten and the 15 disciples is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, inventory no. 11.4107. Even though it dates from an earlier part of the Muromachi period, and the composition is different, there is a striking similarity in the details on the garments and in the hairdo of the doji and the size of the painting. The Tokyo National Museum holds another comparable painting under inventory no. C0018069 /A-1228.