An impressive and hard to come by pair of Japanese architectural lanterns that once flanked a Japanese Buddhist temple of monastery. Cast in bronze with eight separate sections;The verdigris bronze octagonal roof-form top with its jeweled flame finial; Eight auspicious Buddhist symbols; Each roof panel has the Tokugawa family crest (aoi mon); And edged with eight open mouth dragon head terminals.
The underside of the roof has its eight delineated rafters; And craved in relief swirling cloud formation, which rest on an octagonal reticulated fire box, with panels centered by eight flying Apsaras, accompanied by four hanging bells. The base platform of the fire box is decorated wth eight water dragons. Compounded by the main support plinth, which is decorated in the archaic Chinese style finished with facing upwards petaled lotus blossom, and the bottom of the base the lotus transverse its petals. The center of the main pillar is decorated in framed bands of eight ranging Kirin (dragon horses). The last bottom base of the lantern, the foliated platform and square base anchors the monumental lantern, which also is decorated in eight individually framed running fu dogs, beautifully rendered.
Tokugawa Mon (crest) on roof, Edo Age 17th/18th century.
Reference: San Francisco Golden Gate Park, Meiji era Japanese Lanterns since 1912.
Exhibited at the Arts of Pacific Asia Show at Fort Mason in San Francisco, Feb. 2008