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.
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 pair of Japanese Edo Period Ko-Imari porcelain choko. Polychrome enamel decoration of chrysanthemums and Paulownia. Buff tone along the rims. Fuku marks centered inside the foot rims. Diameter almost 3 3/4 inches (9.525 cm). Height 2 7/8 inches (7.3 cm). At least early 19th century. Good condition.
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)
An intricately woven spherical bamboo hanakago with sharply arching handle. Good, tight functional condition with light indication of use and wear. Height to top of handle about 16 1/4 inches (41.28 cm)
A low lying, nicely woven bamboo hanakago with high, arching handle. Good, functional condition with light indication of use and wear. Length, 13 1/4 inches (33.65 cm). Width, 10 inches (25.4 cm). Height about 13 inches (33 cm).
Japanese silver wire cloisonne vase. Green, aubergine, coral, violet, white, yellow, dark blue and black enamel decoration of bird and flowers all on a light blue enamel background. Two faint, tight hairline cracks issue each about a half inch from different petals of the topmost peony blossom decoration, otherwise good. Height 7 1/4 inches (18.42 cm)
Small Japanese Ginbari cloisonne vase. Gold, orange, pink, green, bronze-brown and black enamel dragon on textured silver colored foil ground. Condition is distressed with crack lines issuing from the foot with a discolored bruise and loss but all on the side opposite the dragon decoration. There is a tiny, inconspicuous nibble along the edge inside the rim of the vase. The vase nonetheless exhibits quite beautifully from a shelf. Single character mark on the foot. Height 3 1/4 inches (8.25 cm)
Japanese Gingari cloisonne vase. Green, red, aubergine, blue, black and yellow enamel dragon on textured silver colored foil ground. Condition is distressed with crack lines issuing from the rim and onto the shoulder and also from the foot light loss and staining. It nonetheless presents quite handsomely from a shelf. Impressed mark on the foot. Height 5 3/4 inches (14.6 cm)
Japanese ko-sometsuke porcelain nagazara (tray form dish) with scalloped corners. With creative blue underglaze depiction of pine boughs and cones in and centered within double lined blue rectangle by the cavetto. The sides with decoration of a literati scroll with berried vines. A narrow key fret band adorns along the outside of the foot rim. A six character mark appears inside the rectangular foot rim. This strongly potted and decorated piece exhibits freedom of expression not bridled by repetitive production of established patterns. We believe it to be from a private kiln under the patronage of some feudal lord and showing independence of both cultivated patronage and accomplished production even if a bit more primitive than production from known, leading kilns. We feel it must be 18th century. Some traces of iron oxide dot the cobalt blue decoration. The unglazed foot burnt in places to a slight buff color. Condition is very good. A few small spots inside the tray rise above the glaze and are burnt brown so dating to the firing. Length 8 1/2 inches (21.59 cm). Width 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm)
A Japanese blue and white koro with all over cartographic decoration of the Japanese Islands, with provinces labeled, and other bodies including seas and land masses with countries labled. The name used for Korea uses the name Joseon which dynasty (established in 1392) ended by varying accounts between 1897 and 1910. The censer could be later still. The cover with Shishi lion pierced finial over the compressed spherical tripod censer with stylized handles. Four character mark centered within recessed bottom. The three feet burnt an iron color where the glaze thins to the biscuit. The Excellent condition. Height from feet to finial about 4 inches (10.16 cm). Length from end of each handle about 5 3/8 inches (13.65 cm). Diameter of girth about 4 inches.
Korean folk art carved wood figure. Bearded man in traditional attire. Holding a pipe in left hand, the right hand positioned to hold a staff and pierced for that purpose (staff missing.) Good condition save a couple chips along the brim of the hat. Height 8 1/2 inches (21.59 cm)