The messenger of the Dragon King of the Sea, holding up a tide ruling jewel. Very rare tagayasan (cassia wood) carved base in the shape of a three-clawed dragon, surrounded by waves that carry the tide ruling jewel, a virtually clear rock crystal ball. Tagayasan base carved and composed in yosegi saiku technique, which is commonly applied in Buddhist sculpture. The base covered in nashiji lacquer. Japan, Edo period, around 1800. Unsigned.
Total height: Circa 8.5 inches . Diameter of ball: 4 inches (10 cm).
Few burned spots, several breaks and losses in the base, due to the nature of the wood. The crystal is virtually clear with very few inclusions (two kinds) and with a few blemishes to surface.
Tagayasan is extremely difficult to carve, as the structure of the wood makes it very brittle, even though tagayasan is considered a hardwood. But the play of the dark and light lines make it extremely beautiful. Tagayasan is usually used for smaller carvings as netsuke, very rarely for larger sculptures.
A pair of slightly abstracted foxes, sitting at their haunches, tails curled wound their feet, their heads turned upwards, as they are gazing at the moon. Patinated bronze. Each of them engraved on the bottom ‘Kozan’ in archaic script. Brown patinated bronze with roughened surface. Japan, mid 20th century.
Comes with tomobako, the cover inscribed on the outside tsuki miru kitsune (foxes looking at the moon) and stamped seido sei (made of bronze); the cover signed and sealed on the inside Kozan saku, Kozan.
Height 10 and 10 1/8 inches (25.2 and 25.8 cm).
A few tiny dents at the bottom edge of one of the foxes, otherwise excellent condition.
The signature Kozan belongs to the artist Sakai Kozan, who was active in Takaoka during the Showa period, mid to late 20th century. The Sakai bronze manufacture is still active today.
Group of four altar pieces: One larger altar table, wood, red, ochre and black lacquer, and gilded at the front and top. Two smaller altar tables, wood, red, ochre and black lacquer and gilded at front ant top. Japan, later Showa period. One of the smaller stands earlier 20th century.
Larger table 14 ¾ in. long x 5 in. high x 4 ¾ in. deep; smaller tables each ca. 11 in. long x 4 ¾ in. high x 3 ½ in. deep.
All with slight, but unoffending traces of usage, very good condition.
Two gilt bronze hangings, probably called yoraku, used as Buddhist altar decorations. They are made of a cap in the shape of a lotus leaf. From seven points rows of pierced diamond shaped and triangular metal ornaments are hanging, with glass beads between them, each with two or three bell shaped drops. One string in the middle with at the bottom a larger bell-shaped pendant. Japan, Showa period, probably later 20th century.
Total length of each: ca. 11 inches.
These kind of ornaments would be hanging from the corners of a baldachine, or large moveable shrine.
Two gilt bronze hangings, probably called yoraku, used as Buddhist altar decorations. They are made of a cap in the shape of a lotus leaf. From sevenpoints rows of pierced diamond shaped and triangular metal ornaments are hanging, with glass beads between them, each with two or three bell shaped drops. One string in the middle with at the bottom a larger bell-shaped pendant. Japan, Showa period, probably 1950 or a little earlier.
Total length of each: ca. 7 inches.
One triangular ornament bent, but not broken, otherwise excellent condition.
These kind of ornaments would be hanging from the corners of a baldachine, or large moveable shrine.
Very rare bronze sculpture of Daiitoku, one of the five Myoo. He is represented with six heads (three large, three small), six legs and six arms that are holding the different attributes, while he is sitting on the back of a reclining buffalo. Here, Daiitoku holds two of his hands clasped together. In the others he holds a staff, chakra, sword and trident. Mandorla with flames stuck into the back of the buffalo. Brown bronze with green corrosion. Japan, 19th century.
Measurements: ca. H 12.25 x L 9 x W 7 inches (ca. 31.75 x 22.8 x 17.75 cm).
Tips of the top flames on the mandorla missing and a bit bent, otherwise excellent condition.
Daiitoku (Sanskrit Yamantaka) is an emanation of Amida Buddha; he is positioned in the West; the white buffalo is a symbol of enlightenment; he has the power to eliminate evil and to establish goodness and to defeat poisonous snakes and dragons.
Original wooden sign board for an optician (Nakatani). The central image is a pince-nez with real convex lenses set in the wood. The sign is advertising all kinds of eye glasses, concave, convex and flat lenses. Japan, Meiji period. Original piece, from the period, no reproduction.
Measurements of wood: H 13 x W 18 x T 1 inches (ca. 33 x 45.75 x 2.5 cm); height with hanging loops: 14 3/8 inches (36.5 cm).
Weathering, paint losses, usual chips and dents, some warping, all in all very good condition.
Very unusual pair of komainu or guardian dogs to a Shinto or Buddhist shrine. The left one with the mouth open and drooping ears, the right one with its mouth closed and with the ears perked up. Very fine and smooth bronze cast with rich brown patination. Makers mark engraved into the bottoms. The name consists of a single character that can be read in a variety of ways: Yasushi, but also Hiroshi, Yutaka, Toru or Akira; followed by “saku” or “made by”. Japan, early 20th century.
Height: left 9 inches, right 9.1 inches (22.8 and 23.2 cm).
Canister of sorts, perhaps for tea, perhaps for candy, made of molded and lacquered papier-mache, in the shape of the lucky dwarf Fukusuke, wrapped in a black overcoat, over red pants, decorated with snow covered pine branches. His large head above his knees. He wears an oddly shaped hat that functions as the cover of the container. Glass eyes inlaid in his face, a metal edge inserted on the top. The material used indicates that the container was made for export. Japan, Meiji period.
Height: 5 ½ inches.
Material around metal edge retracting, some restoration, very good condition.
Wooden group of Shomen Kongo, the green faced diamond deity in 8-armed configuration, standing before a flaming mandorla, accompanied by two children. Shomen Kongo tramples on two demon figures, the whole group standing on rocks, placed on a rectangular base. In his eight hands he holds a trident, sword, bow, arrows, something unidentifiable that should have been a rope (lower left hand) and an object that replaces the cakra (upper left hand). Shomen’s features: Third eye; in his crown the head of a monkey, the monkey being his messenger; skull necklace on his chest; snakes around his waist, wrists and ankles and a tiger skin bound around his waist. The boys are carrying a cup and flask(?). Polychromed wood, eyes of Shomen inlaid, crown gilded copper. Bronze fittings around corners of base, engraved with flowers. Japan, Edo period, 18/19th century.
Approximate measurements height: 29 inches; width: 15 ½ inches; depth: 11 inches.
Restaurations, few breaks, few missing tips, few lacquer chips.
Shomen Kongo originally was a plague spreading demon, but after converting to Buddhism, he became a guardian against wild animals, sickness and love spreading demons and wild weather deities. In the Edo period, he was venerated as a guardian against tuberculosis.
Rare sculpture of a bronze elephant, reclining holding up his head and throwing his trunk up in the air. Traces of former gilding. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Length: 7 ½ inches; height: 6 ¾ inches.
Few scratches on bottom, excellent condition.
1) Stoneware incense box or kogo in the shape of an onna daruma (female daruma). She sits in the typical way, all rolled up in her garment, indicating that arms and legs may have fallen off. Her face shows striking similarity to Okame. Cream colored and reddish brown glaze over whitish soft clay, the face left partially free, fine crackle in the glaze. Japan, Meiji period.
2) Stoneware incense box or kogo in the shape of Daruma, wrapped in his reddish garment, his face peeing out of the garment, looking up. Cream colored and red glaze with some black accents over a whitish soft clay, the face left partially free, strong, but very fine crackle in the glaze. Raku stamp on the inside. Japan, Meiji period.
Height: ca. 1 ½ inches each.
1) Outer edge of lower part with tiny frittings and chips, two tiny glaze chips along the lines of the crackle (hardly visible). Generally very good condition.
2) On the back tiny pieces of glaze missing between the crackle lines, otherwise excellent condition.
Small boxwood netsuke in the shape of a group of five matsutake mushrooms, with their typical small hoods. Natural himotoshi. Unsigned. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Height: 7/8 inch ; width at top: 15/16 inch (ca. 2.2 x 2.4 cm)
Some minor traces of usage, beautiful patina.
Okimono in the form of a highly detailed human skull. Boxwood, partly stained black. Unsigned. Japan, Meiji period, 19th century.
Height: 1 7/8 inch; width: 2 ¾ inches (ca. 4.7 x 7 cm).
Excellent condition, beautiful patina.
Hanging scroll with portrait of the samurai Kusunoki Masashige (1294-1366), sitting cross-legged in full armor on a mat made of deer skin. In front of him his bow and a banner with his family crest of a chrysanthemum on water. Signed at lower left: Hogen Eishin hitsu and red seal. Attributed to Kano Eishin. Black ink, mineral colors, gofun and gold on silk. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
Comes with woorden storage box, inscribed: Kusunoki Masashige, Eishin hitsu.
Painted area 15” x 10”; total height: 46.25” (ca. 38 x 25.5 cm; 117.5 cm).
Browned, some of the gofun rubbed, but in good and stable condition. New mounting.
Kano Eishin (1717-1763).
Kusunoki Masashige was a samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo (14th century) in his attempt to overthrow the Kamakura rulers. He became the symbol of samurai loyalty.
Painting, hanging scroll with the images of a man of the merchant class, having intercourse with one woman, while being surrounded by a multitude of other women. Ukiyo-e style. Black ink, mineral colors and gold on silk. Unsigned, after a four-page book illustration by Keisai Eisen (see photo 6). Japan, Meiji period.
Painted area: 12 ¾ x 18 ¼ inches; total height: 47 ¾ inches (32.4 x 46.3; 121.3 cm). Typical mounting from the Meiji period, probably original to the painting.
Some foxing , otherwise very good condition.
The 4 book pages are shown for comparison only. They are NOT part of this item
Forged iron tsuba in nanban style with undercutting. Design of a rain dragon on the bottom of each, their tails intertwining with the karakusa, interspersed with lotus flowers and leaves. Unsigned. Japan, Edo period, probably late 18th century.
Height: 3 inches ; width: 2 7/8 inches (7.5 x 7.3 cm).
Few light rust spots in deeper areas.
Ex private collection Netherlands.
Small early painting mounted on an album sheet. Three bridled horses galloping from right to left, one with a saddle. Black ink with a tinge of red pigment (on the saddle) on paper. On the left inscribed: dated 1st month of the 1st year of Zhenghe (1111) copy of a painting of three horses by Li Lung Mien and seal. Several more seals at upper middle and at right margin. In the style of and by follower slightly later. China, Song / Yuan dynasty.
Painting 10 1/8 x 13 1/8 inches (25.7 x 33.3 cm).
Wormholes, vertical crease and filled in areas in lower right and upper left corners, backed. Framed.