Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art

Small Japanese Bronze Sculpture of Shishi, old patina

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1837 VR: Item # 1118991
Spoils of Time
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Frederick, MD 21701

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A really nice, old bronze Shishi sculpture. It works well enough as a free standing figure and we cannot be certain it wasn't intended as such. The bottom has a single 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) diameter opening and another opening being the beast's mouth. The party we acquired from described it as an incense burner. Perhaps it could have been the cover of a censer - the opening in the bottom allowing smoke to escape from the mouth. It is not clear if a few points on the bottom surface might suggest the figure could have been primitively secured to another surface at some point or if only to ensure a stable position while resting atop a censer. The patina, as does the style, suggests significant enough age. A rich, dark red tone indicates a relatively high copper content in the alloy. The gold highlighted eyes appear possibly to have been later embellishment. Makes a great desktop decoration or implement (paperweight) and displays sufficient sculptural merit worthy of a collection. We believe this must be at least Edo period. Good condition. Length at longest point (tail to ear) 4 inches (10.16 cm)