Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Japanese Pottery Figure of Daruma with Ruyi Sceptre - Meiji

A Japanese Pottery Figure of Daruma with Ruyi Sceptre - Meiji

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1920: Item # 1283050

Please refer to our stock # 26DDD when inquiring.
This is a two toned pottery figure of a standing Daruma holding a long ruyi sceptre. Bodhidharma - frequently referred to as Daruma - was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century CE. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolin Kung Fu.

The object he holds in his right hand is a ruyi sceptre. Ruyi (如意, lit. "as desired); is a curved decorative object that serves as a ceremonial sceptre in Chinese Buddhism or a talisman symbolizing power and good fortune in Chinese folklore. A traditional ruyi has a long S-shaped handle and a head fashioned like a fist, cloud, or lingzhi mushroom.

The figure has a rather stern expression - not the often smiling Daruma we have come to know. The piece measures 5 7/8" high by 4 3/8" wide and is 3 5/8" deep. The face, chest, hand and feet are all executed in a matte medium brown glaze. His garments are a light tan - in some places almost ivory white. At first we thought that the glaze on the garment had been rubbed through usage; however, we now believe that this rubbed look was done for artistic effect. The figure is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. We date it to the late Meiji period, circa 1890 - 1910.