A Korean blue and white porcelain water dropper. Cube form with bracket feet on the four corners, a spout along the top edge on one side, and a whole (for displacement) near center top. Painterly floral decoration within line border on the sides. Geometric flower head decoration on the top. Stable cracks, a couple surface chips, and loss to the spout. All dimensions about 2 1/4 inches (5.715 cm) except for the height which is about 2 1/8 inches (5.39 cm). Joseon dynasty.
A fine and attractive, old Chinese bronze seal. The characters stylized to fit a round impression area. The grip labeled with a more legible reading (in contrast with the stylized impression). Either red lacquer or seal vermillion in the recesses help the characters of the label stand out. A ring through the grip, with higher copper content than the seal, also displaying a rich, old patina. Very good condition. Diameter of the impression area, 1 1/4 inches (3.175 cm). Height, about 13/16 inch (.812 cm)
A Chinese bronze alloy seal of light color (perhaps high in zinc) and tall, rectangular-cube form with shaped top. Very good condition with some fingerprint impressions on the surface (not as conspicuous in person as they are under light in the photographs.) Weighty for the size at 10.2 oz (288 gm). An informed associate once related to me (many years ago now) that antimony in earlier Chinese bronze alloys contribute significantly to weight. Dimensions, 2 1/8 inches (cm) x 1 9/16 inches (cm) x 3/4 inches (cm)
A simple Chinese bronze seal. Of flat, square form, the redeeming virtue of this seal is the attractive archaistic four characters. Has quite an early if not utilitarian feel. Good condition with some small areas of pitting. About 1 1/4 inches (3.175 cm) square.
Woodblock print of Nikko Kegon-no-taki (Kegon falls in Nikko) by Kawase Hasui from the series ukiyo-e monyo shu (Collection of ukiyo-e designs). The water depicted in the falls is textured. signed Hasui, sealed Kawase, publisher's mark Bijutsusha ("Rumi") and titled in the right margin. Image area, height about 14 5/16 inches (36.35 cm) by width about 9 3/8 inches (23.81 cm). Including margins, height about 15 3/8 inches (39.1 cm) by width about 10 2/8 inches (26.04 cm) near the top to 10 3/8 inches (26.35 cm) toward the bottom. Not being a print expert, I would describe the condition as good but with toning to areas of the print that seem to follow white areas and certain colors such as the margins, the falls, and darker areas of the terrain behind the falls. This can be observed particularly from our illustration of the back. Hinged by tape to the matte (dry and losing adhesive quality.) This was acquired by us early in 2014 from a Washington DC area consignment shop.
Korean, Joseon dynasty blue and white porcelain bottle. Bamboo grove decoration. Compare with the bottle in the same form and proportion in Masterpieces of the Ho-Am Art Museum, 1982, object 78 (page 99). [The Ho-Am bottle is also illustrated in The Ceramic Art of Korea, 1961, object 88(page 196) when it was in the Jai-hyung Sohn collection. Kim and Gompertz describe the form as "an unusual shape".] Condition is good with the acceptaible kiln and firing faults common to Korean ceramics, slight list to the neck, a bit primitive. Height to rim about 6 1/4 inches (15.875 cm). Weight 1.71 lbs (776 grams)
Chinese scroll painting depicting figures in boats in mountainous landscape with bridge and retreats. A note attached by old paperclip (the note very dry and brittle with age) indicates "Chien Chien-chiu, member of the legislative Yuan and chief, Women's Activities Section, KMT". A search on the name paired with Kuomintang finds that Chien Chien-chiu was a member of the Central Committee of the KMT at least between 1969 and 1973 when nominated with eight others by Chiang Kai-shek to the presidium for its Fourth Plenary Session. This is interesting whether Chien Chien-chiu is the artist or presented the painting as it illustrates the tradition of literati interest and scholarship among statespeople in Chinese culture. The painting is in good, clean condition with wrinkles/folds in the mounting not intruding terribly into the paper of the painting (will remount nicely.) The scroll ends are buffalo horn. Painting height 27 1/8 inches (68.9 cm), width 11 5/18 inches (28.65 cm). Mounting height about 53 1/4 inches (135.3 cm), width 14 1/2 inches (36.83 cm)
An unusual, attractive and well appointed famille rose Bitong (brushpot.) Figures in panels decoration on a red and black burl patterned background. Green Artemisia leaf on the foot. The octagonal form is infrequently encountered as compared with hexagonal and other forms (particularly round ones) as one researches similar examples from leading public auctions. This brushpot has also been fitted with slightly convex hardwood cover of conforming octagonal shape - embedded with a bronze, Han dynasty style turtle form seal finial (we have included among our photographs one illustrating the characters on the seal.) The antique hardwood stand appears to be a later marriage - fitting only because some of the rim of the stand is missing - and presents nicely enough with the loss to the rear. The brushpot itself is in reasonably sound condition with smaller and larger glaze frits (some older and filled, one a bit deeper than the glaze), and an apparent "crows foot" to the inside though not conveying to the glaze on the outside (so stable and no more bothersome than a little crazing.) Proper conservation of the frits shouldn't be all that daunting a project. At least 19th century, the Artemisia leaf mark and citrus peel texture suggest an earlier period. Height of brushpot 5 1/8 inches (13 cm), diameter point to point of rim about 6 1/8 inches (15.6) [up to 5 1/8 inches diameter side to side of rim] Weighs 2.85 lbs (1.291 kgs) Out of a Maryland estate last year.
A good, large murashido patinated bronze vase. Raised geese and irises decoration including some katakiribori details. The bottom may have been reversed when reattaching it at some later time. From inside the vase can be seen on the bottom a 16 petal chrysanthemum overlaid by Kashiwa (oak leaf) mon and on a bed of same - all in relief. We illustrate the interior bottom in one of our enlargement views (pardon the uncleaned state.) Reasonably good condition with light rubbing and minor, acceptable distress t the surface. In the hands of an experienced metalworker a light cleaning and some care should do wonders for this object. Just over 12 1/2 inches (32 cm)
A carved wood sculptural figure representing a Continental soldier in Napoleonic era style uniform. All from a single block of wood: The hat with feather plume, horse hair and visor over mustachioed face, shoulder epaulettes on red coat with long tails - one with pocket pouch, accouterment belts holding roll and pouch crossing the chest with white blouse, also white gloves grasping the sabre hilt and scabbard, black trousers with one leg forward, all on a block plinth (also from the same, single block of wood as the figure) with sides painted in a fugitive blue or turquoise. The attention to detail on this figure (the pocket pouch on one coat tail, the configuration of the accouterment belt, the textured horse hair carved with the hat, etc.) is really extraordinary. 19th century. Condition is good with no significant loss to the carved wood. Minor wood loss on two points of the sabre tassel. The surface rich with patina, some paint loss (patina varying across points of paint loss depending on freshness - see additional images.) Height about 18 inches (45.72 cm)
A good, signed Satsuma dish. Center with key border and fan panels decorated respectively with court ladies, court nobles, Samurai, courtesans, tea ceremony objects, butterflies and landscape. The decoration encompasses the formal and the pleasure aspects of the elite classes. A polychrome floral ground and gilt floral rim border round out the rich decoration. Signed rather simply on the base. With this good quality of decoration, one could reasonably assume the artist may have at times worked in one of the more important Satsuma ateliers. Very good condition with no issues. Diameter, 6 1/4 inches (15.875 cm). Weight 11.1 oz (315 g).
An Annamese blue and white porcelain dish. Flower decoration in cavetto centered by leaves and flowers decorated bands within unglazed rim. Leaf lappet decoration above the ring foot centering unglazed bottom with typical iron wash. 15th to 16th century. Good condition, crawling original to the firing, crazing to glaze, good resonance when tapped, no hairlines and no cracks. Diameter, 9 1/2 to 9 5/8 inches (about 24.3 cm). Height, little more than 2 1/4 inches (about 5.75 cm). Acquired through a third party, along with some of the other ceramic lots we have recently listed, from the estate of a retired government employee who worked and traveled extensively throughout Asia in the 20th century.
A Thai market Chinese porcelain bowl. Turquoise, iron red, white, yellow, blue, green, black and magenta enamel decoration. Known as Benjarong, this class of porcelain made and decorated for the Thai taste of the period is so unique to that market that it is often thought of as a Thai ceramic. Metal covered rim and foot. The present example has wear and minor loss to the enamel in the bowl and a hairline crack from the rim (illustrated.) Condition issues are not uncommon with 19th century Southeast Asian market Chinese porcelain which also helps to explain the popularity of metal rims on these (perhaps more vigorously used) ceramics. The bowl in otherwise good condition with body and glaze crawling inside the foot from the firing. Bowl diameter a little more than 7 inches (17.8 cm), Height 3 5/8 inches (9.21 cm)
A pair of Chinese blue and white porcelain cups. Nicely painted decoration of three flower arrangements on each cup - the bouquets respectively centering a peony, a chrysanthemum and a camellia bloom (appearing to represent blooms from different seasons.) The cobalt blue has a deep, clean quality. Late 19th to early 20th century. Condition is good - one cup with small flake inside the foot rim (illustrated.) Height each, little more than 2 1/4 inches (5.72 cm). Diameter each, about 3 1/4 inches (8.25 cm) - one slightly under.
19th century Chinese covered blue and white porcelain bowl or jar. Probably Vietnam market (the painterly decoration and the form are consistent with this.) Decoration of scholarly figures in garden landscape. Condition relatively good. In detail, a minor, small intact fracture to the foot rim, a few very minor "fleabite" flakes inside the rim, a small glaze frit on the cover, an old scratched in character on the cover. Height (together) about 4 3/4 inches (12.1 cm)
A tropical hardwood walking stick. Probably handiwork from the Philippines. Carved floral decoration and the name Paul V. McNutt who was an American politician and historical figure. He was the 34th governor of Indiana during the Great Depression, High Commissioner of the Philippines Territory, Administrator of the Federal Security Agency, Chairman of the War Manpower Commission, Ambassador to the newly independent Philippines, Chairman of the Philippine-American Trade Council, directory of several firms in Manila, and aspired to run for President of the United States. He was in the Philippines from 1937 to 1939 and again from 1945 to 1947. Owing in part to his exposure to Japan during the war years in the Philippines, he held very controversial views toward the Japan and the Japanese people (fortunately Roosevelt's announcement seeking a second term kept McNutt, the front runner until then, out of the White House as he would have been far more aggressive than was Truman in ending the war.) Missing caps on both ends otherwise the carved wood in good condition. Length, 30 7/8 inches (78.43 cm)
An elegant, long South Pacific carved hardwood lime spatula. Probably Massim Archipelago off Papua New Guinea. Some openwork in the carved decoration. An unusual five inch long notch on the decorated end (possibly for use with a feather or palm frond?) Good condition with minor wear from use and handlng. Length, 27 inches (68.58 cm)
Pair Bleu de Hue porcelain bowls. Late 19th century Chinese kiln production (most from Jingdezhen) for the Vietnamese market. Blue and white decoration of ducks in water among lotus. If you look at the photographs closely, you will barely discern a very soft, pale blue wash for the water in the decoration. Four character hall mark on each piece (each illustrated here.) Metal rims, popular among late 19th century Bleu de Hue wares, have kept the porcelain rims well protected and so these are in excellent condition with no issues. Bowl diameters approximately 5 1/16 inches (12.9 cm). Cover diameters approximately 4 11/16 inches (11.9 cm). Acquired through a third party from the estate of a retired government employee who worked and travelled extensively throughout Asia in the 20th century.
A Solomon Islands carved wood crescent shaped Samoan club. Appears (from our familiarity with Chinese furniture) to be ironwood. The incised decoration is partially filled with remaining encrustation. Good condition with minor surface wear (judging from which, a good patina has accumulated on this quite hard wood.) The flattened end of the grip, however, might possibly have at some point extended a bit longer (though there is patina to that surface as well.) Length, 25 1/8 inches (63.8 cm)
Japanese fish form covered serving dish. Red and black lacquer on wood. Third quarter 20th century or earlier. Good condition. Length, 15 3/4 inches between farthest points.
A Bizen type kogo in form of a primitively rendered reclining sage or monk. Signed on bottom. 20th century. Good condition. Length: 5 inches (12.7 cm)
A very unusual modern Japanese pottery vase. Exaggerated chatter decoration spiraling from the foot to the shoulder, the tacky clay lifted to a very coarse texture before firing. The neck to rim, also spiraling up the vase, finished smoothly. Apparently in the tradition of the stoneware tile work kilns of Bizen and Tokoname. Studio artist marks in impressed cartouches on the foot. Excellent condition. Height, 8 inches.
An unusual Bizen stoneware figural group depicting three sages with attributes in clouds in a stele formation. One with wheat and sword flanked by attendants, one also with wheat and sword and the other with a palm frond or banana leaf fan. The figures' attire and swords are Chinese in manner (as are many sages and deities in Japanese lore adopted from the Chinese.) It may be a less often seen interpretation of Daikoku considering the wheat and sword attributes and the attnedants (a common attendant of Daikoku being Ebisu.) Inscriptions on the back appear to relate to the figures. An impressed Bizen pottery mark in cartouche on the base. Good condition. Height, about 7 1/8 inches (18.1 cm)
A Bizen stoneware figural study of Daikokuten with attributes including full face, large earlobes, smile, hat, bag of rice and mallet. Impressed signature cartouche. Good condition. Height, about 7 1/2 inches (19.05 cm). Length about 8 inches (20.32 cm).
A Meiji period cloisonne vase with irises decoration on a light bluish green ground. The iris blooms executed in ginbari technique. Silver wire and mounts. Incised signature, Ota Zo (made by Ota), centered on the silver foot. A quarter inch bruise and associated lines, a couple older lines having acquired some soft color. Light scratching. Otherwise good condition. A quarter inch bubble in one of the ginbari blooms intact and probably from the time of creation. Height, 7 1/4 inches (18.42 cm)
A nicely modeled and painted Mingei Kokeshi doll from one piece of wood retaining original bark. Where cut against the grain, top and bottom, having accumulated a patina - darker on the top. Painted decoration slightly worn - particularly the face from rubbing but still retaining the outline of the eyes. Signed on the side but obscured from rubbing of the paper-like top layer of the bark. Condition otherwise good. Height 11 3/8 inches (28.89 cm)
A pair of Kokeshi dolls. Good, painted Mingei works both with inscriptions and signatures - one also on the base. Heads moveable. Mid 20th century. Excellent condition. Height, each, about 12 inches (30.48 cm).
This katana (69.09 cm [27.2 inches] cutting edge) was purchased in May, 2014. Signed Kashu Ju Kanewaka Tsukuru/Zo. It was left in the care of a second party subsequently invited into the investment. I hold title as the principal and also retain correspondence introduced with the purchase as well as a Shinsa document (images of tang [nakago] attached - note the three mekugi-ana [retaining holes] though ubu [not shortened].) I am offering $500 for the safe return of the katana and another $500 for information establishing the identity of the original source of one or more transactions that might have occurred after the second party was unable to account for the katana (the same week of May, 2014.) I will offer $200 for corroborated identity and contact information of any party now possessing the katana and resulting in successfully completed communication confirming same. Inscription on the other side of the tang gives a date consistent with Kanewaka I. But the shinsa dismisses the attribution and judges the katana and mei as Kanewaka III. The verso further includes a cutting test inscription (futatsu-do.) The Russo-Japanese war tsuka (hilt), if not also the later saya (scabbard), may have been subsequently stripped. The blade may appear different if polished but the nakago will remain constant. If this sword is offered to you, it is not offered with clear title. If you have purchased this sword, you do not have title to it and you cannot resell it. It is LOST or STOLEN property. Contact me immediately to return this sword to my possession.
A nicely shaped bronze, tripod bombe incense burner with opposing, ribbon handles rising from the rim. A 16 character Xuande mark centered on the bottom. The vessel comparatively thinly formed (relative to 17th and earlier 18th century examples and so estimated late 18th century to early 19th century) nevertheless with a notable weight to mass ratio: 2.59 lb (1.175 kg) Length - handle to handle - 6 7/8 inches (17.463 cm). Height to handles about 4 3/8 inches (11.113 cm) or to rim about 3 3/8 inches (8.573 cm). Condition is presentable with good patina and wear from handling and in good state with the exception of a patched casting flaw including a line to the mark (see images of the underside with mark.)
A Japanese blue and white porcelain model of a figure in boat. The boat with decorated panels of fishing scenes - on shore, in boat and traveling overland with fishing poles. One of the panels with boat decoration resembling the present model with auspicious symbol and fret decoration suggesting a basketry canopy. A removable piece with modeled figure rests loosely atop the boat as if a partial cover - the boat apparently intended to to hold perhaps burning incense. Kiln sand adheres irregularly to the foot of the boat. Good condition. Length, 5 1/2 inches (13.9 cm). Height, 3 3/4 inches (9.5 cm)
Emperor and Empress Hina dolls. Extraordinary condition perhaps owing to the original tomobako (storage boxes.) The heads (signed below the necks), hand, and feet being lacquered, carved wood. Painted crystal, inlaid eyes. There is no composition material - the dolls and all the accessories made with metal, lacquer, wood and paper (can't tell if the beads on the Empress' crown are glass or coral.) The Empress' fan with beautifully hand painted scene. A completely circular label on each box. One rubbed rectangular lable on one of the boxes can make out "DAIMARU OSAKA". Daimaru Dry Goods changed its name to simply Daimaru in 1928. A decade later, the United States began adopting increasingly limiting trade restrictions against Japan. This history and the doll quality put these between 1928 and 1939. Emperor height, 8 1/8 inches (20.64 cm) to topknot. Empress height, about 7 3/8 inches (18.7 cm) to topknot or about 8 1/16 inches (20.48 cm) including the tiara. Add another 3 1/2 inches height to each for the tatami and lacquer bases. The well crafted tomobako (boxes) each are 14 3/16 inches x 14 13/16 inches x 9 9/16 inches.
A finely decorated 18th century Imari style, Hizen ware jar. Three Friends of Winter decoration on one side and summer blooms on the verso. Decorated delicately in soft, clean blue underglaze depicting prunus, bamboo, peonies, rockery, chrysanthemums and paulownia with blooms and young bamboo leaves picked out in persimmon and gilt enamel. The porcelain body of refined, white kaolin. Excellent condition (cover missing.) The blue in our pictures appears a little richer due to the studio lighting. Height, 4 1/2 inches (11.44 cm). Provenance, Ex R. Scott Gladden - collector, dealer (early Trocadero member), artist, friend
A slip inlaid olive drab celadon stoneware pottery pear form bottle vase. Decoration of fish in black inlaid slip over a ground of white slip inlaid punched flowerheads. Possibly Japanese (see Korean legacy wares from provinces in Kyushu [Hizen, Higo, Satsuma] illustrated in Morse) and possibly Korean Joseon era punchong ware. Signed on bottom. Excellent condition. Indeterminate age (capped conservatively with this listing and likely at least a little earlier.) This strongly potted piece (1.01 kg, or 2.23 lb) would make a handsome addition whether Japanese or Korean to a more informed collector. Height, 7 3/4 inches (19.7 cm)
Japanese Kamakura-Bori lacquer box on tray. The cover with bold, high-relief carving of bird in branch - the almost black surface rubbed to a soft, coral-red toned burnished finish. The softly irregular honeycomb textured ground with leathery texture continuing to the sides of the box bottom and into the rim of the tray with edges also rubbed to the underlying coral-red and burnished smooth. Signed under the tray. Surfaces with some distress from use including minor rubbing and scratching with very little lacquer loss. One smaller side of the cover had been detached and poorly glued back with the complication of some warping. This object presents a very promising conservation project. Tray length, 7 3/4 inches (19.7 cm)
Rare "Buddha Asuka (B)" woodblock print by Kiyoshi Saito, 1955, number 40 of only 50 printed, signed in white ink and sealed in red ink both on the image area. Signed and sealed printed label "self-carved self printed" also included (attached to paper backing removed to inspect condition.)
We were not able to find a recent auction record for this image with data available. Another mid-century work by Saito (in color) titled Asuka (Kudara Kannon) [possibly confused by the artist with one of the Roku Kannon also of the Horyuji] was bestowed in 1959 by the artist to the Collection of The University of Michigan Museum of Art. It is noted that Saito was creating works in a series of early Nara sculptures around the time. A Saito subject similar to the present, muted work (but printed two years later in a run of 100) of another Nara sculpture, Miroku, was offered in Christies sale 8862, lot 306 together with a Winter in Aizu print.
The muted colors of the present work is a reflection of the somber lighting within the temples housing sculptures of this period.
Condition of the present work is good, with some toning and with brown paper tape around the edges (covering up to about a half inch margin.) A penciled note (from the framer?) appears in the margin on the verso. Some ink bleed on the verso from the original printing not at all compromising the image. Not clear if this was the first framing, the print was nonetheless not removed for some time until we removed the backing to inspect condition (image included of verso before removing paper.) Sheet height about 33 inches, sheet width about 21 1/4 inches. Image height about 29 5/8 inches, image width about 16 inches.
Set of three Japanese blue and white porcelain choko. Alternating panels of bamboo and flower decoration. Three friends of winter roundel inside cups. Patterned bands inside rim and above foot. Good condition with minor "flea bites" to rims. Each about 2 7/8 inches (7.3 cm) high and about 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm) diameter.