A fine little Hirado figural group depicting two karako playing with a Shishi-mai (lion dance) mask. Sharply modeled with incised details and sparse blue, aubergine and black underglaze decoration. The karako's eyes, the lion mask and the underside unglazed. The biscuit surface of the lion mask intentionally oxidized to an even, light buff tone. Good condition with only a few tiny "flea bite" chips one must look closely for and not detracting (our close images depict them larger than life with commentary in the captions.) Length, 3 1/8 inches (7.94 cm). Height, 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm)
A large Ao-Kutani palette porcelain plaque in the Yoshidaya manner. Two geese in garden landscape with palm tree, lotus among rockery and water in finely applied blue, green, aubergine, black and yellow enamels. A black key border with green overglaze enamel around the canted rim. The back not glazed except for a black enamel square Kutani kiln mark with overglaze green enamel and two character black enamel artist mark with overglaze green enamel in oval. Two points of the back recessed and pierced before firing to provide for suspension display of the plaque. The so called Yoshidaya type of 19th century Ao-Kutani wares is named for a merchant who revived production of a particular palette of Ko-Kutani production (of the 17th and early 18th century) adjacent to the original kilns. The current example certainly appears to be 19th century. Later 19th century Ao-Kutani palette production is often ambitiously ascribed to the Yoshidaya kiln which, in fact, operated only briefly from the 1820s to the early 1830s. We recently purchased this as Yoshidaya style Ao-Kutani appeals to us personally (as one might tell from our recently listed auction lots.) We offer it here while we are auctioning other Ao-Kutani wares. It came to us framed and we retain the frame (illustrated) to ship with the plaque. Light enamel loss in the scene not distracting from its appeal. More enamel loss evident along the rim which would be covered with the frame in place. Sparse and light small scratches and rubbing. Otherwise, good and presentable condition. Plaque dimensions (not including the frame) about 13 1/4 inches by about 12 inches (33.65 cm x 30.48 cm). Weight without frame 7.03 lbs (3.19 kg)
A large Ko-Kutani style porcelain, charger sized, deep dish or shallow bowl. In the Ao-Kutani palette but with addition of red enamel to the array of blue, green, aubergine, yellow, black and chocolate brown enamel. The interior with bird perched on a peony stem, the cavetto with band of repeating diamond pattern. The back glazed green over black karakusa. The bottom yellow with black mark under a square green glazed reserve. Probably 20th century. Good condition with some crazing in the glaze. Diameter, 14 15/16 inches (37.9 cm). Weight, 5.41 lb (2.453 kg)
A small Ao-Kutani palette porcelain duck form kogo (incense box) in the Yoshidaya manner. Decoration in polychrome enamels including light blue, green, yellow, aubergine and dark brown (nearly black.) Kutani mark in black under yellow enamel on the inside of the lower half of the kogo. The bottom also appears to have an indiscernible mark, perhaps a mark not glazed over before firing. The inside of the top and bottom glazed but the joining rims of each unglazed biscuit. The bottom, also unglazed, burnt to a buff tone in the kiln (areas of yellow glaze along the foot oxidized to a chocolate color where meeting the biscuit foot. The so called Yoshidaya type of 19th century Ao-Kutani wares is named for a merchant who revived production of a particular palette of Ko-Kutani production (of the 17th and early 18th century) adjacent to the original kilns. The current example may be 19th century - at least circa turn of the century. Ao-Kutani palette production from the later 19th century is often ambitiously ascribed to the Yoshidaya kiln which, in fact, operated only briefly from the 1820s to the early 1830s. Small flakes and chips along the outside of the rim on both top and bottom - one along the rim of the bottom half filled with a resin. Otherwise good condition with no cracks or lines other than crazing. A charming little piece just acquired up the day we listed it (and in time to join another Ao-Kutani lot we have also listed to auction.) Length, about 3 1/16 inches (7.78 cm)
An Ao-Kutani palette porcelain deep dish in the Yoshidaya manner. Hydrangeas decoration in polychrome enamels including white, light blue-green, and dark green, blue, blue-green and aubergine in black line, all on yellow ground, a chocolate brown enamel on the otherwise unglazed biscuit rim. The back with enamels including dark green on black line decoration of clouds. Kutani mark in black under yellow glaze inside the foot ring which appears to have been glazed but with the enamel rubbed along high points to the porcelain body. A couple of kiln kisses to the cloud decoration area on the back. The so called Yoshidaya type of 19th century Ao-Kutani wares is named for a merchant who revived production of a particular palette of Ko-Kutani production (of the 17th and early 18th century) adjacent to the original kilns. The current example certainly appears to be 19th century and could possibly be from the Yoshidaya kiln. Later Ao-Kutani palette production is often ambitiously ascribed to the Yoshidaya kiln which, in fact, operated only briefly from the 1820s to the early 1830s. One 3/16 inch flake (mostly to the enamel) under the rim. Otherwise good condition considering expected scratching and rubbing of the enamel. Presents well. Diameter, 11 7/8 inches (30.16 cm)
An unusual, sancai glazed stoneware caparisoned elephant form vessel. The larger opening on its back is suggestive of a lime pot (our best guess) with only traces suggested by an off white cast on the sides of the otherwise buff colored unglazed interior. The trunk, curled above the head, ends in a smaller aperture but not optimal as a kendi. The form, in the round, and the pleasantly crazed sancai glaze (cream, amber and a rare blue) suggest influence of the Cizao kilns legacy of Fujian (known to produce sancai vessels and utilitarian objects including pillows.) But we are ascribing a much later origin than a Fujian sancai vessel would demand (perhaps as late as the Qing dynasty) because the glaze is more vitreous than the lead based Fujian glazes, the body harder than the lower fired pottery, and the form suggesting a later Southeast Asian demand for ceramics in an earlier manner (where much Cizao production had been destined.) The buff colored body unglazed on the bottom and with a single character, 'Da' (大, great), in double incised lines. Vitreous smooth residue from the kiln resembling burnt caramel adhering to the feet. Good condition. Length tail to trunk, about 6 3/4 inches (17.15 cm). Height to tip of trunk, about 3 7/8 inches (9.84 cm).
A kozuka with gilt and silvered bronze decoration of a general's baton and banner on dark patinated bronze nanako ('fish roe' textured ground.) The utility knife handle with shakudo (a pickled gold and copper alloy) back and sides. Surfaces showing wear and slight distress from use but in fairly good and serviceable condition. Could benefit from a light cleaning and oiling. Length, little more than 3 3/4 inches (9.53 cm)
A 'Swatow' type Zhangzhou porcelain jar in transitional style but probably later (glaze ending at the foot rather than above it, the interior also glazed.) Shi or Foo lions and peonies decoration in green, red and yellow overglaze enamels and blue underglaze double rings around the rim and on the shoulder, single ring above the foot. Line details (difficult to make out under the nearly opaque overglaze enamels but there) are probably black. The glaze evenly crazed for a crackle effect. The foot and approximately 1 1/4" inches above the foot apparently stained black but possibly from the kiln (noting that areas near the foot where the unctuous crackle glaze has crawled from the body also has a thin black glaze clearly imparted in the kiln.) An approximately 1 inch hairline issues from the rim. Height, about 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm). Acquired at an antiques show at the Raleigh NC fairgrounds during summer travel last year.
An early Qing Dynasty carved marine ivory or bone figure of a Meiren. The beauty holding a lotus in right hand over chest, robe with incised geometric repeating pattern and flower decoration on sleeves, hair and jewelry all nicely defined. A flat, defined back extending above and over the figure's head in ruyi like fashion. It may have been a small ruyi for the scholar's table or perhaps functioning as a belt buckle. Its purpose is not clear with the bottom section of the back now missing. It does not appear, however, that the figure was never meant to balance in a standing position. It is also missing some material between the figure's legs (perhaps excavated to fit on a display stand at some point), has an old small chip in the figure's hair smoothed with time, and losses to the back. The patina is a beautiful, mellow tone with some translucent qualities on the surface. Bone is suggested by the overall opaque qualify of the material and a dark vein visible from the bottom. But some marbling, suggesting the possibility of marine ivory, is visible in places, particularly from the sides of the figure's face (which surfaces are more translucent) and somewhat from the back. So we may need have the material analyzed before shipping abroad (and a CITES certificate might be necessary.) We decided to offer this after recently listing another item we acquired during Summer 2014 trip. This item we acquired from a small downtown Savannah Georgia shop. Length is 4 1/8 inches (10.47 cm)
Thai bronze head of a Bodhisattva. Ayutthaya period. Presentable decorative condition with tips of earlobes missing, core exposed atop head, and the body missing of course. Black lacquer and traces of gilt on the diadem and the back of the neck. Height of the head , about 3 3/4 inches (9.54 cm) not including the pin for securing on plinth. Total height including the plinth, 5 7/8 inches (14.9 cm). This was a find in a small Atlanta Georgia shop while on vacation last Summer (always looking.) The patina appears darker and warmer in person but did not cooperate, photographically, with our lighting.
A good pair of dragon menuki in nicely detailed patinated shakudo alloy and with gilt features. Late Edo period. Good condition but with glue adhering mostly to the back. Each little more than 1 5/8 inches (4.13 cm) long.
Korean brown glazed water dropper of compressed sphere, or disk form with knob finial and side spout. Undulating incised decoration on the shoulders and knob finial grip, rings around the circumference, and lines perpendicular to the foot appearing darker, almost black from the pooling of the glaze and with light caramel tone on the inverse high points. Typical coarse kiln grit adhering to the foot. This particular form of Korean brown glazed ceramic is scarce relative to other forms. We were able to find one other example sold at Christies in 2001, sale 9606 lot 304 (when the market for Korean art was still recovering.) Good condition save some scratching and rubbing of the glaze on high points acquiring a dry appearance in contrast to the attractively "alligatored", almost slightly iridescent glaze surface. There are a couple "kiln kisses" on the sides, the spout appears to be entirely intact despite a somewhat coarse appearance, a small line on the foot may be a firing fault or from a later impact but is entirely stable. The strongly potted water dropper weighs 10.4 oz (293 grams). Diameter, about 3 3/4 inches (9.5 cm). Height, about 3 inches (7.6 cm)
A baluster form Satsuma vase. One panel with karako, one group bearing votive offerings across a bridge and stream to a temple. Another panel with figures in garden landscape with cherry blossoms. Both with a figure viewing the Spring scene from a veranda, perhaps a parallel is suggested between the mythical and the real worlds. Both panels with spring blooms, bordered by brocade patterns and two decorative roundels respectively depicting tea ceremony implements and a Spring bird with peonies. Two reserves on the shoulder respectively depicting yoroi and festival costume. Four character raised gold on black ground signature Kozan Zo Kore. Very good condition with wear mostly limited to light rubbing of the gilt enamel on the rim. Height, at least 5 7/8 inches (14.93 cm)
A famille rose bulb bowl. One side decorated with sages, a larger central figure flanked by four attendants each with an attribute including a halberd by the central figure (perhaps Zhong Kui), a ruyi, leafy branch (likely herbs), and a couple more - one held from an attendant by the central figure. The role of Zhong Kui also makes sense in context of the four smaller attendants - keeping them in check as it were. The other three sides of the rectangular, footed bowl with classic chicken decoration - roosters on rockery depicted on the smaller sides and hens (or a larger hen with peeps) among flora and fauna on the broader side. Citrus peel textured surface particularly noticeable on the bottom with six character hall mark in overglaze red enamel. Traces of gilt enamel on the rim almost completely rubbed away over time. Good condition. Length 8 7/8 inches (22.55 cm), Width 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm), height 3 inches (7.62 cm)
Indian red sandstone (of muted red, buff tone) fragment from an architectural frieze. Sculpturally represented is a voluptuous female form with waistband, necklace, large round earrings, bands on the left upper arm and a head covering, seated and holding her right forefinger to her chin, left hand upon left thigh with indiscernible attribute, and right leg crossed in front of bended left leg. A couple of incised lines on the right suggest a sheer covering issuing from the waistband. Though a successful expression, some of the proportions seem a bit primitive - the right hand appearing of slightly larger scale. Perhaps it belongs to an adjacent, now absent, figure to its right (there does seem to be drapery with incised details pendant from the forearm.) The figure sits upon the lower leg of a figure now absent from the its left (the foot of which suggests another figure about twice the size as the one depicted.) Friezes such as the one this figure likely appeared in often portrayed multiple figures interacting to varying degrees (sometimes less, sometimes more.) Good condition, understanding that it is a fragment of a larger object and excepting weathering of details which are now a bit soft though discernible. The patina of the finished surface constrast with the unweathered surfaces cut from the original frieze. An old, worn label (not legible) remains on one side. Height, about 12 inches (30.48 cm)
An iron tsuba (Japanese sword guard.) Karakusa (vine) forming eight openwork lobes issuing from four Anzu (apricot blossoms). Incised details (worn.) The Anzu was used in Mon for a number of families, some of which included the Nabeshima and the Tachibana. The mon featured prominently in the Muromachi and Azuchi-Momoyama periods (16th and early 17th centuries.) The configuration of this tsuba is similar to the complex mon of Ono Harunaga which arranged eight pairs of Anzu blossoms around a larger, central pair of blossoms. Ono Harunaga was a general under the Toyotomi's, was lord of Osaka castle after the battle of Sekigahara, and met his end there in 1615 after the siege by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Holes for utility knives flanking the seppa-dai. Good condition. Rubbing of the seppa-dai normal but also with light pitting (acceptable) on the reverse seppa-dai. Small quantities of glue adhering (picked off reasonably easily but with some effort - not at all disturbing the patina.) Decent tone when tapped. 2 5/8 inches (6.7 cm) diameter.
A kozuka with sea shell and seaweed decoration with gold and silver overlaid on shakudo (a pickled gold and copper alloy) nanako ('fish roe' textured ground.) The utility knife handle with filed gilt bronze sides and back. Slight bend and the nanako somewhat dented in places. Would present nicely enough with a sword fitted to hold a kozuka in the saya (scabbard.) Kogatana (utility blade) not included. Length, 3 3/4 inches.
Japanese polychrome enamel Arita porcelain dish. Decoration in blue underglaze and green, red, black, buff, aubergine and gold enamel of cranes among the three friends of winter (pine, bamboo and prunus) and Spring flowers. Stylized character in center, karakusa on verso. Good condition. 8 5/8 inches diameter
A Mino hon-zukuri wakizashi by Hida (no) Kami Ujifusa, circa 1600. Quite dark steel. Shallow Torii-sori, chu-kissaki, iori-mune. Nagasa 19 5/8 inches (49.85 cm), wide haba, medium kasane. Tight, small itame hada. Wide nie-deki o-gunome midare hamon with togari and koshigaiba. No doubt more activity and hada will be brought out with polish. Fukura-tsuku kissaki. Midare-komi boshi ending in togari rich in nie before thin, fukai kaeri. Iriyama-gata nakago with good patina and crisp feel with (like the blade) some scattered surface rust, o-sujikai yasurime and confidently, deeply cut mei. One mekugi-ana. Only the blade and habaki convey (as we found it.) Has surface rust, habaki locked in place, and some nicks to the edge. Wide haba, characteristic of the Hida Ujifusa line, and wide yakiba ensure this will take a good, restorative polish. I have received a quote to polish and, believing it to be our best candidate for polish, we may later have this done if still possessing it.
Hawley's lists three smiths who worked in Mino province (UJI 19, UJI 21, UJI 22) who signed Hida No Kami Ujifusa (and two Hida Ujifusa listings for Owari province which probably represent the same smiths moving between the two neighboring provinces, UJI 26 and UJI 36). The master of this storied, well connected line was the grandson of third generation Kanefusa and became known as one of the "three Owari masters" (Owari-sansaku.) In his youth, the master Hida Fujiwara Ujifusa was in 1577 appointed page to Oda Nobunaga's third son, Nobutaka (Owari province was also home to the Oda clan), about the time of the subjugation of Kii province. Ujifusa became Ronin in 1582 when Nobutaka committed seppuku. In 1588 Ujifusa entered into apprenticeship under his father, Wakasa no Kami Ujifusa (already a renkowned Owari smith of the late Koto working by appointment by Oda Nobunaga) and received the title Hida no Kami from Toyotomi Hidetsugu, nephew of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and regent for Hideyoshi's son Hideyori, in 1592 (the Toyotomis also came from Owari province.) By 1610 Ujifusa was working from Nagoya castle (as the Toyotomi reign was unraveling after Sekigahra and Hideyori had also fortified in Osaka castle.) Five years later the Toyotomi reign ended with the fall of Osaka Castle. There was one more generation of Hida Fujiwara Ujifusa in Mino province after the master (three total when counting Wakasa Ujifusa who, from Hawley's, it would seem also signed "Hida" within the second generation's atelier - now the master swordsmith in the line). This sword, with gonome-midare hamon, wide haba and o-sujikai yasurime is consistent with the work of the master, Hawley's UJI 21.
Chinese bronze shi (or foo) lion seal. Four character seal mark. Good condition. Height, little more than 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm)
A good Korean mother of pearl inlaid small chest of drawers. The front with inlaid decoration of pairs of birds (including, recognizably, ducks and phoenix) among lotus, bamboo, peaches and peonies on flat black lacquered ground. This is one of those wonderful finds of both honest age and undisturbed condition. All the wood with evidence only of being hand worked and appearing untouched since made with good, honest patina on all the secondary woods as well. The extent of conservation over time appears to be a couple of patched corners to the inlaid drawer facings and sparse replacement of some missing wooden pins (yes good, old wooden pins throughout) with a nail here and there. As one with experience dealing in period furniture, I would have to say that this is not only in good condition but also thankful that it has not been altered. As obvious from the unlevel shelves seen in our pictures, it is in need of a proper (hide) regluing. So it will ship with the drawers and dividers a bit loose. Height, 10 5/8 inches (26.9 cm), Width, about the same (27 cm), Depth, 10 1/8 inches (25.7 cm)
An unusual (you could probably say rare) paktong betel nut set. Comprised of six pieces of Chinese paktong including an octagonal tray, four elongated six sided hinged boxes together fitting within the octagonal tray and centering a square space in which fits a single octagonal hinged box containing lime residue (the square space accommodating the hinges from all five boxes.) Paktong being an alloy of brass, nickel and tin to imitate silver with resistance to tarnish, the surface of paktong can hold a high burnish but does acquire patina over time. This set exhibits a dull patina from rubbing and exposure of the top surfaces while retaining the burnished luster on the sides of the boxes and trays. Condition is good with minor discoloration of the rubbed top surfaces. The hinges lack retaining pins which may have been wood (in which case simply enough replaced.) As these appear to have been brushed (possibly for affect when made), they may clean but the top surfaces might not again acquire the burnished quality of the side surfaces unless again burnished (we do not disturb metal surfaces.) Tray, point to point 9 3/8 inches (23.8 cm), side to side 8 5/8 inches (22 cm). Box length, 4 3/4 inches (12.07 cm). Central box dimension 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm)
A Philippined betel nut box. Silver inlaid decoration on bronze. Rectangular form with canted corners and conforming hinged cover over three comparments (two small side compartments, one with old lime residue, flanking one large central compartment also with hinged covers. All hinges held by wood pinning. Good condition. Length, not including the bale handles on each side, 6 7/8 inches (17.46 cm)
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 with celadon tinged pooling in the otherwise clear glaze. Three friends of winter decoration with bamboo decoration on one side and on the shoulder, rockery with Spring blooms and (presumably) pine scrub on the other side (pine, bamboo and prunus being the "three friends".) Double incised lines border the top and bottom of the cylindrical girth. Compare with the bottle in the same form and proportion in Masterpieces of the Ho-Am Art Museum, 1982, object 78 (page 99). Both bottles have a waisted neck, rounded shoulder, a raised foot with smaller radius than the vessel, and only about a centimeter difference in height. [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 shoulder and neck, a bit primitive (certainly more primitive than the Ho-Am example which is only mentioned as an example of this bottle type.) 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)
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 rare, antique Chinese Imperial court necklace presentation case. Gilt, red lacquered formed and stitched thin wood armature with carved or pressed fret pattern on sides and top also with auspicious symbols and characters conveying congratulations upon promotion. Diameter, about 7 5/8 inches (19.37 cm). Height, about 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm). Very good condition with tasteful and old conservation to small areas of lacquer and expected rubbing to gilt surface. Retaining the original hinge and latch hardware (a thin bronze-like alloy). Also retaining a shaped, seal stamped label on the interior (where it was well protected) which may date to when the case was made. We are conservatively estimating the case to be late Qing to early Republican. A similar case but with archaic characters was sold by Aspire Auctions, February 6, 2014, lot 306
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.
A smaller, woven bamboo hanakago with appealing square, bundled rim and arched handle. Good, functional condition with light indication of use and wear. Roughly 8 1/4 inches (20.95 cm) square. About 11 inches high (27.94 cm)