Very rare painting of death of Buddha, in which a golden penis is substituted for the Buddha, female private parts for the Malla women and two grief-stricken penises for the leading disciples of the Buddha, Ananda and Mahakasyapa. They sit in front of a six-panel screen decorated with sala trees. The three-headed deity behind the bier is holding a dildo and other pleasure bringing paraphernalia. Scattered around are a rooster and a hen, two mandarin ducks, eels, clams, daikon, ginger, scallions, mushrooms and other creatures that are symbols of union in happiness, fertility or contain sexual allusions. Very rich painting in black ink, mineral colors, gold and gofun on silk. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Measurements: painted area 17.5 inches x 25.25 inches; mounting 53.5 x 30.25 inches.
Few light brown spots, tiny insect hole in gold, otherwise excellent condition.
This type of painting fits in the catagory of mitate nehanzu, parodic nirvana images, as were being produced since the medieval period. They should not be seen as objects that ridicule Shaka or Buddhism. We see in this genre priests taking the place of Shaka, poets, famous actors and vegetables. For more on the subject, see D. Max Moerman, Dying Like the Buddha: Intervisuality and the Cultic Image, in: Impressions, No. 29, 2007-2008, pp. 24-57.
Highly unusual shrine with the image of the death of the historical Buddha (Shaka), or nehan-zu, and his entrance into the state or perfect peace, called nirvana or nehan. The Buddha lays stretched out on a rectangular lotus base, his head resting on his right arm. In painting, but also in sculpture, around the bed there are 52 kinds of beings, human and animals who mourn him. In this case, there are none represented. A kind of transom is hanging from the ceiling of the case as a baldachin. Carved wood, gilded and polychromed, with extremely finely painted details in the face. Japan, Edo period, 18/19th century.
Measurements: H ca. 8.5 in.; W ca. 9.5 in.; D ca. 5 in. (ca. 21.6 x 24.1 x 12.7 cm.).
Case: some dents on roof, flaking lacquer at bottom, corrosion on hardware, consistent with age and a humid storage in a temple. Figure: right arm restored, baldachin with many missing part (partly still extant) and very fragile.
Small figure of the elephant deities Shoten and the female Kangiten embracing on a lotus base. They signify matrimonial peace and lots of offspring. Shoten is derived from Ganesha and is regarded as a wild one. Kangiten is a female incarnation of the 11headed Kannon. She appeases him and converts him to Buddhism. Wood with traces of pigments. Japan, Taisho era?
Height: ca. 5.75 inches (19 cm)
Some traces of usage, few thin age cracks in wood.
Hanging scroll with painting in black ink and color on silk. The six immortal poets sitting in a line: the monk Kisen, Ariwara no Narihira, Otomo no Kuronushi, Ono no Komachi, Sojo Henjo and Funya no Yasuhide. Signed at lower right side: Zen Hokusai Taito hitsu. Red seal: Katsushika. Japan, 19th century.
Size, including mounting: approx. height 76 inches, width 19 inches.
Slightly yellowed, few stains along edges, all in all good condition.
Small shrine with the standing figure of the 11-headed Kannon on a lotus, holding a flask in his left hand, standing before a full size mandorla. Painted on the doors are Jizo bosatsu to his right and Kokuzo bosatsu to his left. Red lacquered shrine, inside gilded with polychrome painting over the gold. Figure and base carved wood with gold painting. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Case: ca. 5.1 x 2.3 x 1.75 inches (13 x 6 x 4.5 cm).
Case with minimal wear consistent with age and use. Kannon covered in soot and gilding repainted over the soot by a professional Buddhist carver/painter, probably in the late 19th century. Some jewelry missing. Excellent condition, very well cared for.
Large pair of cranes, standing. One has its neck and beak stretched upwards, the other has its neck curved down. Cast bronze. Japan, latter half Meiji period.
Height: ca. 49 and 39.5 inches (124.5 and 100.5 cm).
Small repair at one of the legs, some paint spatter, little oxidation, excellent condition.
Small flat Buddhist shrine, constructed as a triptych. When open, the middle section houses Amida Nyorai in raised carving, sitting on a lotus throne under a baldachin and surrounded by clouds. On the left panel Seishi bosatsu with his hands folded in prayer, on the right panel Kannon bosatsu with the lotus in his hands. Both bodhisattva surrounded by clouds as well. Sandalwood with details of garment and baldachin in gold. Background in lapis blue.
The outside decorated in makie: A lotus pond with leaves and flowers in raised gold and silver takamakie and with okibirame. Over the pond clouds and two apsaras, playing the sho and the drum. Hinges in the form of silver butterflies. Japan, Edo period or early Meiji at the latest, 19th century.
Closed: 7.7 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches (12 x 8.5 x 2.3 cm).
Some warping, otherwise fine condition.
Shrines like these were often decorated on the outside by well known lacquer studios. Signatures were often put on the outside bottom of the case. In the 1915 Red Cross Exhibition a similar piece was shown (Sculpture, no. 24, and today included in the British Museum) that was described as carved by Naito Koseki and lacquered by Komatsu. This piece dates from the early 20th century. The quality of the lacquer work is clearly different from the piece here. Naito Koseki was a Buddhist sculptor who was still alive in the 1930s.
Small Buddhist shrine with a triad of the 11-headed and 1000-armed Kannon in the center back. In the front on the right stands Fudo Myoo with sword and sling. To the left sits Aizen Myoo on a lotus pedestal with ghanta and vajra in his main hands. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Height shrine: 4.1 inches (10.6 cm).
Some attributes missing, some hands of Kannon missing. Shrine with clear traces of usage (weather).
A bronze figurine of a kappa, water imp, sitting at ease on a rock with his feet in the water of a pond. His hands placed besides him on the rock. Cast bronze with a beautiful brown patina that turns green on the rock. Signed in the back. Japan, late Taisho, early Showa period.
H 5.7 inches (14.5 cm); W 4.4 inches (11.2 cm); D 5.5 inches (14 cm).
Dents and patina abrasions consistent with usage as an ashtray, otherwise fine condition.
Good tall zushi or Buddhist shrine, housing the wooden figure of the standing Buddha Amida, Buddha of the Western Paradise. Both his hands in mudra. He is standing on a multi-tiered hexagonal base, decorated with flowers. His eyes inset in glass or crystal, due to old layer of re-lacquering and soot hardly visible. The baldachin decorated with double family crest. Double door zushi with family crest in gold lacquer, indicating that the shrine was made on order for a family shrine. Inside of the doors decorated with flowering lotus plants in etching or scratch technique. Buddha wood, gilded over black lacquer. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Height of zushi: ca. 18.8 inches (48 cm); height of Amida: ca. 10 inches (25.5 cm).
Traces of usage. Basically good condition.
Small yellow bronze sculpture of the elephant deity Shoten embracing the female Kangiten on a lotus base. In this constellation of embrace - in esoteric Buddhism - they signify matrimonial peace and lots of offspring. Shoten is derived from Ganesha and is regarded as a wild one. Kangiten is an incarnation of the 11headed Kannon. She appeases him and converts him to Buddhism. Shoten Kangiten are usually kept in closed shrines, as ‘secret sculptures’ or hibutsu, because of the sexual allusion. Japan, Edo period or slightly later.
Height: 4.8 inches (12.3 cm).
Very good condition
Small bronze sculpture of the Chinese monk Xuanzang (Jap. Genjo Sanzo) with a pile of Buddhist scriptures rolled up and stacked in the pack on his back and a lotus leaf over his head from which dangles an incense burner, as he returns to China from India. In his hands he was holding a scroll and a fly whisk that are today missing. Figure stands on an irregularly shaped base. Japan, mid to late Edo period, 18/19th century.
Height incl. base ca. 5.25 inches (13.3 cm).
Figure slightly at angle, although no stress marks visible in the bronze. Incense burner slightly bent, hands slightly damaged, missing the attributes.
Stoneware moon flask, decorated on one side with three pieces of cloth hanging in the wind from a flowering cherry tree (the cherry blossoms in tiny specks of silver, the clouds done in gold); on the other side with peonies that are covered against late spring snow (the snow on the cover and the veins of the leaves in silver, the outlines of the peony petals in gold). On the rounded side an irregular pattern in tea dust glaze, sprinkled with cherry blossoms in silver. The neck and foot are glazed iron red and are decorated with silver karakusa. Bottom with underglaze impressed mark Taizan and with overglaze signature Dainihon Taizan sei. Stoneware with creamy crackled glaze and polychrome enamels, iron red, silver and gold. Japan, mid Meiji era.
Height 7.5 inches (19 cm), width ca. 6 inches (15,2 cm).
Gold somewhat rubbed, silver oxidized but easily restorable. Very good condition.
The Takahashi family started producing for the export market (mainly USA) in 1872. The kiln was closed in 1894 under the 9th generation Taizan. Since both body and decoration of the flask are marked Taizan, it can be safely accepted that this flask stems from before 1894. After the closing of the kiln, the last Taizan occasionally seemed to have decorated blank objects from other manufactures, among whom Kinkozan.
Kerr, Rose, Chinese ceramics. Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911, Victoria and Albert Museum: London 1986. Reprint from 1998. Hardcover with d/j. 142 pp. with many illustrations in color and b/w, including photos of seals, marks and bottoms.
Wooden ihai or mortuary tablet, the top crowned with clouds. This type of object usually holds the posthumous Buddhist name of a deceased and is placed in a butsudan. The ihai can also be used to pay homage to, for instance, a certain sutra. In this case a homage to one of the Kings of Hell. The ihai is decorated with the triple begonia-mon of the Tokogawa family. Lacquer on wood.
The painting, in black ink and color on paper behind glass, shows Emma-O, the judge of hell of the 35th day, surrounded by his attributes, Datsueba and other assistants and the soul of a deceased that he is about to judge. Some of the punishments for sins are being depicted in the background. Japan, 19th century.
Height: 29.8 inches (75.8 cm).
Very good condition, few abrasions.
Small figure of a tiger, sitting on a rocky base, tail curled around his haunches, his head up as if picking up a scent. Cast in two pieces, but securely mounted. Signed on bottom: Shohoken. Japan, Nagasaki?, Edo period.
Height: ca. 3.1 inches (7.8 cm).
Fine condition. Some scratches on the bottom.
Tall slender vase with slightly narrowed waist and square shoulder. The ribbed body of middle brown coarse clay covered with two elongated patches of thin brown glaze. The lip with splashes of green glaze, inside gray glaze. Karatsu ware. Japan, late Edo period.
Height: 12.25 inches (30.5 cm).
Firing crack in bottom, NOT trough and through, otherwise mint condition.
Highly unusual shrine with the image of a horse looking back. The horse has a ‘brocade’ cover over his back and is standing behind a mesh wire fence, the way they would be kept in temple compounds. Polychoromed wood with some gold details. The roof of the shrine is a separate piece. Japan, Meiji period, 19th century.
Height of zushi ca. 7.8 inches (19.5 cm).
Frontal baldachin dislodged but still extant, one door lost its hinge-functions (triangular splinter on right door on last photo), some chipping of the paint on brocade cover of horse. Otherwise very good condition.
This piece needs to be seen as a form of ema, which were offered to temples and shrines as a calling to the deity. The horse is seen to be used by various deities.