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Zushi with Benten, Daikoku, Bishamon, Japan 18th c.

Zushi with Benten, Daikoku, Bishamon, Japan 18th c.

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Devotional Objects: Pre 1800: Item # 270360

Please refer to our stock # 10061 when inquiring.

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.