Beautiful wooden jizaigake, or pothook hanger. This rather straight type is called Ebisu, after the shape of Ebisu’s hat. These hangers were suspended with a rope from a heavy beam, over the open hearth. From the hanger an adjustable hook was hung that held the kettle. Black lacquered zelkova wood. 19th century. 12 ¾ x 10 ¾ x 8 ½ inches. Good piece of mingei. Beautiful patina, some age cracks and slight traces of usage. Very good condition. Metal support.
It is very unusual for jizaigake to be lacquered. A similar piece can be found in the Montgomery collection.
Beautiful wooden jizaigake, or pothook hanger. This type is called Daikoku, after the shape of Daikoku’s hat. These hangers were suspended with a rope from a heavy beam, over the open hearth. From the hanger an adjustable hook was hung that held the kettle. Good piece of mingei. Zelkova wood with rests of smut, especially in the grooves. Japan, 19th century. H 9 ½; w 9 ¼; 2 ¾ inches. Slight traces of usage, very good condition.
The straight hangers are called Ebisu, after the courtly hat that Ebisu is usually depicted with. These are the two most common variations in jizaigake.
Painting depicting the Descent of Amida. In the middle Amida Buddha, to his right the bodhisattva Seishi and Jizo in his priest’s garment. On Amida’s left kneels Kannon. In this scene Buddha comes down to transport the newly deceased devotee to the Western Paradise. In his company one traditionally finds Seishi, who holds his hands in prayer, and Kannon, who holds the lotus for transporting the deceased to Paradise. Color and black ink on silk. Painted area 39 7/8 x 19 ¾ inches. 19th century. Contemporary mounting, needs a little restoration. Several small cracks in the paint, not in the silk, some unevenness in surface, otherwise good condition.
Cylindrical water jar with two squared handles and lid, as used for the tea ceremony. The knob on top of the lid is formed by two reishi mushrooms. Sand colored clay, covered with cream colored glaze with light brown rabbit’s fur patches. On this, in gold, green and blue enamels a decoration of a stream bordered with reeds and baskets filled with stones (fortification of the banks). Inside glazed. On the bottom a seal in blue and transparent enamel: Kutani Moriyama or Shôzan.
H 7 ¼ inches, diameter 4 ¾ inches (with handles 5 ¾ inches).
One handle repaired, hardly visible; two small chips at cover.
This type of decoration, as well as the color scheme is unusual for Kutani ware. Clay and enamels resemble those of Satsuma ware.
Cast iron chagama, or water kettle used for the tea ceremony. Round form with two eyelets on the shoulder in the shape of stylized dragonheads, each holding a large ring in their mouths. Plain, roughened surface. Bronze lid with flower-shaped, open-worked knob. Nice green patina. Body cast iron. H 8 ¾ inches. Japan, 19th century. Very good condition. Beautiful deep brown patina on body.
These kettles were put on an iron brazier filled with charcoal.
Esoteric Buddhist scroll painting of the Mandala of the Two Worlds. On a background in the shape of a lotus petal striped with the colors red, blue, green, yellow (gold) and white that indicate the emanation of the mystic energies, two Dainichi have been depicted. The upper part represents the Diamond World. Dainichi sits on a lotus pedestal surrounded by 23 Sanskrit characters. He holds his hands in the chinken-in gesture and wears a jeweled headdress that includes the Five Wisdom Buddhas. The lower part of the painting represents the Womb World. Dainichi holds his hands in hokkai jo-in. Black ink, color and gold on paper. 18th century. 39 ¼ x 18 1/8 inches. Modern mounting. Some repairs, mainly backed cracks. Good condition.
Simple wooden mask of shishi, or lion, with movable ears and jaw. The ears and eyebrows painted black. Behind the ears a row of small holes for the formerly implanted hairs. Mingei. All light wood, wooden joints. Japan, 19th century.
H 6 ½; D 9 ½ inches.
Nice patina, minor traces of usage: small chip at one of ears, short and unimportant crack in skull. All in all good condition.
Small sculpture of a bald headed man sitting in the manner of a rakan, his long garment hanging open at the chest. His face grim, the hands tucked away in the sleeves of his garment. Inscription in black ink on the bottom, giving the date of Bunsei 6 (1823) and indicating the maker as ‘made by the old man Kenko himself’. Boxwood, the eyes of reverse painted glass, possibly crystal. Japan. Very nice piece of mingei carving.
Height 6 inches (15 cm).
Beautiful patina, minimal worm damage on lower back and bottom, minimal traces of usage.
Jizo is standing, holding up his left hand in which he holds a jewel. His right hand is hanging down along his body. Soft wood with traces of black lacquer on gesso. On the bare wood Buddhist texts have been written in black ink. It would have been covered by the lacquer and hence would have been invisible. The black lacquer rubbed off for the larger part. Hand and feet cut separately. Height 19 inches. Japan 18th century. Some small, old chips. On plexi glass base.
The rakan sits with folded legs, his left hand resting on his bared belly, the right hand in a pointing gesture. His face shows a rather grim frontal expression that becomes soft, when seen from the side. Darkly patinated bronze with a few minor casting flaws. The index finger of his right hand missing. On the back a long engraved inscription including the name of the caster, the names of temples in Kyoto, the names of a layman and a nun and the date of 1807. Height 22.5 inches. Beautiful, expressive piece with good patina. On wooden base.
Large peach-shaped bowl decorated on in- and outside with blossoming peach-tree branches. On beige colored stoneware a thin layer of cream colored, opaque glaze has been applied, on which the bold design in overglaze blue, black, green, red, white and gold. On the outside in a white rectangular reserve the signature Kenzan. This piece is definitely in the style of Ogata Kenzan, but not by the hand of any of them. Japan, 20th century. H 4; w 12 inches. Tiny chip on inner rim, otherwise excellent condition.
Hip flask (dachibin) in crescent-shape with two loops on the outer side to hold a shoulder cord. In the center of the top a filling mouth and to the far end a short spout. White and brown marbled glaze on whitish stone ware with a green spout and loops. Under the glaze stamped in katakana: Iken.
Height 4 3/8 inches, width 5 1/8 inches.
Tiny glaze chip at spout and tiny glaze chip at filling mouth (both hardly visible), otherwise excellent condition. Okinawa, Meiji period, perhaps Taisho.
This kind of hip flask is typical for Okinawa. For other examples see: Moes, Robert, Mingei. Japanese Folk Art from the Brooklyn Museum Collection, New York 1985, no. 100 and Hauge, Victor and Takako, Folk Traditions in Japanese Art, Cleveland, New York, San Francisco 1978, no. 106.
Very unusual figure of a seated Kannon in his appearance with 11 faces and thousand arms. The eyes cast down, the main pair of hands held in prayer, a second pair in his lap, holding a cup. Polychrome wood, with some gold. Piece carved out of one piece of wood. Japan Meiji period. Height 18 inches. Some of the pigments somewhat rubbed, some material cracks, otherwise very good condition.
This is an excellent piece of mingei (folk art). Although the carving is rather crude, the face of Kannon has been delicately painted. Kannon is a very popular deity, but in spite of that the deity rarely appears in folk carvings.
Sculpture of a seated old man with a pointy beard and long moustaches, possibly Takeshiuchi-no-Sukune. The old man is dressed in Chinese garment, his mouth set in a grimace, his right hand holding a thin mace, or a large, closed fan, his left hand just over his lap. On his head he wears a sort of cap with two horn-shaped protrusions at the front. Made of two pieces of wood (lower part of body and legs, torso from the waist up) joined by pegs, polychrome. The mace is a separate piece. Some material cracks and some pigments rubbed, otherwise very good condition. Height 17 inches. Japan, 19th century.
This is an excellent example of mingei. A comparable figure we have not been able to find in the literature.
Large zushi of square shape with double doors. Outside black lacquer and bronze hard ware, finely engraved with meandering flowers, inside gold lacquer.
Inside a sculpture of the deity Benten, or Benzaiten, in her appearance with eight arms. In her hands she holds sword, jewel, bow, halberd and wheel. Other attributes are missing. On her head she wears the typical crown with torii, referring to the island of Enoshima, where the big Benten shrine is. Behind the crown on her head, sits Ugajin, the serpent with human head, deity of good fortune. Benten sits on a double lotus base, behind her a small mandorla originally decorated with three flaming jewels, today one is missing. This type of Benten is called Uga Benzaiten. To her sides stand Bishamonten (one arm missing) and Daikoku. Gilt and black lacquered wood partly covered in soot. Crystal eyes. Some old breaks, and repairs (with the original pieces). Some lacquer chips and a few missing parts as described. Crack along Benten's lap (seam between the blocks). Generally good condition. Box with some modern repairs, some lacquer chips, crack in bottom (stable), all damages due to usage. H 21 ½ inches. Japan 18th century.
A similar, 8armed figure, without the presence of Bishamonten and Daikoku, can be found in the catalog 'Sacred Treasures of Mount Koya. The Art of Japanese Shingon Buddhism', Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2002, no. 39.
Head of a rakan with elongated eyebrows and thick earlobes. His eyes cast down. The head is hollow and is built up from several segments of wood. This technique is referred to as yosegi saiku. The eyes made of crystal, reverse painted. On the wood, mainly on the back of the head, traces of gesso. Soft wood. 16th century. H (without base) 7 ¾ inches. Along some seams traces of glue, some chips at edges (eyelids), otherwise good condition.
Originally this piece must have had a polychrome layer.
Portrait of a young woman, holding a white lily in her left hand. The woman wears a striped kimono and a gay obi. Black ink and colors on silk. In the tradition of the ukiyoe artists. Unsigned. Some tiny pigment losses in the white of the face, otherwise very good condition. Japan Meiji period, 19th century. Framed. Frame: 48 x 20 ½ inches.
Two sculptures of the boy attendants to Fudo Myoo. On the right is the cowardly and obedient Kongara Doji on the left the wicked and disobedient Seitaka Doji. Kongara is holding a lotus flower, Seitaka a stick. Each of them is standing on a rock shaped base, loosely joined by pegs on the feet. Originally there was the third figure of Fudo Myoo, now missing. Both figures are made of several pieces of wood, joined together (yosegi saiku). The wood stained black, crystal eyes. The face of Seitaka is loose, revealing the name of the figure and the name of the carver (Shiogawa Hokyo) and possibly a date. The date could not be identified. Apart from some minor rubbing of the wood and one tiny chip on the front, both pieces are in excellent condition. Height 19 1/4 inches each. Japan 18th century.