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23 hits

  • Thumbnail for Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (netsuke detail)
    Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (netsuke detail)

    The Japanese tradition for clothing accessories did not decline after Western influence arrived in Japan after the 18th century. The only change is that the inro (medicine case) was replaced by the tobacco pouch. Netsuke, a small accessory, functioned as a toggle or button for the wearing of articles, such as a pouch or a purse, on a sash, or obi in Japanese, in traditional Japanese clothing (kimono). It was originally used for an inro, a small medicine case, and was worn by the Japanese men after the 16th century. Inro could also contain a seal stamp and dry fruits for snacks, not only medicine. The art of netsuke reached its peak in the 18th century, and many designs were created during this time. The designs of netsuke varied. They were largely inspired by Japanese folk tales and tradition, ranging from historical and genre figures, to animals and plants. However, later the carvings changed for foreign collectors. Netsuke generally feature realistically executed subjects. Traditionally, the artist’s name would be carved at the bottom of the netsuke.

  • Thumbnail for Black Japanese Helmet - underside view
    Black Japanese Helmet - underside view

    H: 13-1/4", W: 12" Helmet, black with gold 5-petal flower emblem, red underside. Japanese helmet of the type called jingasa, Tokugawa Period. Lacquered wood in excellent condition. During the Tokugawa period, a key means of social control were the great parades of warlords and their retainers going to and from the capital city of Edo, where they were required to spend every other year in attendance upon the Shogun. These “alternate attendance†(sankin kotai) processions, up to 4,000 strong in the case of the Maeda clan, had the effect of keeping the common people of Japan in awe of the warriors. “Alternate attendance†thus helped keep the peace, something that the Shogunate was so good at doing that there was no war for the 250 years of the Tokugawa reign. As the Pax Tokugawa continued on and on, however, the Shogun and his retainers became warriors who never went to war. The actual ability to fight thus became secondary to maintaining a fearsome image. As Herman Ooms puts it in his essay in Edo: Art in Japan, 1615-1868, form became norm, and image, more important than reality. It is just this process that transformed armor into Art. Armor in the late Tokugawa Period is all about image, a point quite clear in this helmet. The helmet purports to be covered with silk that parts to reveal rough steel plates held together with large, round rivets. In fact, the helmet is made entirely of a thin, light wood covered with a layer of lacquer and gilt.

  • Thumbnail for Reliquary
    Reliquary

    Small cabinet with paired doors front and back. Inside reveals small cavity sealed in glass containing three small pebbles. Interior of doors painted with lotus blossoms. Gilt, lacquer painted wood, glass, copper, stone; 3†x 2â€.

  • Thumbnail for Reliquary
    Reliquary

    Carved gilt lotus bud on lotus pedestal with cavity in center sealed with glass. Contains a small pedestal and a white pebble. Gilt and lacquered wood, glass, copper, stone; H: 4†W: 2 1/2â€.

  • Thumbnail for Crane by Pine and Waterfall from Album of 11 Miniature Sketches)
    Crane by Pine and Waterfall from Album of 11 Miniature Sketches) by Jin Xiaqi

    These sketches depict animals in landscapes 1) crane by pine and waterfall 2) two horses by stream 3) ox-herder and two oxen crossing a stone bridge 4) dragon cavorting above a frothy sea 5) a pair of peacocks on a riverbank 6) a group of horses in a pasture 7) mandarin ducks in a pond 8) monkey clinging to a hillock 9) white goats on a hillside 10) a pair of white cranes near bamboo 11) three spotted deer, plantain, and rock. Each album leaf is 5 1/16 x 3 1/2 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To see another image from the album, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Jali Screen
    Jali Screen

    Mottled red sandstone; 43.25 x 26 inches. This crisply carved richly ornamental panel served as an architectural element in a palace or pavilion wall space. The scrolling floral arabesques and arched motif in the upper section of the lattice window panel are typical Mogul decorative flourishes that are common in grand residential structures throughout Mogul India.

  • Thumbnail for Six of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets - Henjo Yoshimine Munesada, one of the six
    Six of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets - Henjo Yoshimine Munesada, one of the six by Anonymous artist of the Tosa school

    Six framed pictures (once pages from an album with pictures of all 36 poets); ink and light colors on paper decorated with yaki-e (burned designs). Each 8 1/2" x 6". The artist of these paintings trained in the style of the Tosa school, an esteemed artistic lineage founded in the early Muromachi era (1392-1568) that painted both secular and religious-themed pictures for the emperor and other aristocratic families. These paintings though, were painted by an emulator of that lineage for affluent, well-educated merchant patrons who had, from the 18th century, had begun to appreciate Japan's ancient courtly artistic and literary heritage. Romantic and nostalgic poetry in Japanese was highly admired among ancient Japanese aristocrats. They particularly favored handwritten anthologies of poetry by thirty-six celebrated poets, who since the 11h century, had been designated as the “Immortal Poets,†and a special compilation of these poets’ works was produced. Compilations of their work came to include one poem by each Immortal Poet, a short biography, and, as in these pictures, an imaginary portrait.

  • Thumbnail for Wooden seated Buddha with recent stand and pedestal
  • Thumbnail for Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (clasp detail interior)
    Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (clasp detail interior)

    The Japanese tradition for clothing accessories did not decline after Western influence arrived in Japan after the 18th century. The only change is that the inro (medicine case) was replaced by the tobacco pouch. Netsuke, a small accessory, functioned as a toggle or button for the wearing of articles, such as a pouch or a purse, on a sash, or obi in Japanese, in traditional Japanese clothing (kimono). It was originally used for an inro, a small medicine case, and was worn by the Japanese men after the 16th century. Inro could also contain a seal stamp and dry fruits for snacks, not only medicine. The art of netsuke reached its peak in the 18th century, and many designs were created during this time. The designs of netsuke varied. They were largely inspired by Japanese folk tales and tradition, ranging from historical and genre figures, to animals and plants. However, later the carvings changed for foreign collectors. Netsuke generally feature realistically executed subjects. Traditionally, the artist’s name would be carved at the bottom of the netsuke.

  • Thumbnail for Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches)
    Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches) by Jin Xiaqi

    These sketches depict animals in landscapes 1) crane by pine and waterfall 2) two horses by stream 3) ox-herder and two oxen crossing a stone bridge 4) dragon cavorting above a frothy sea 5) a pair of peacocks on a riverbank 6) a group of horses in a pasture 7) mandarin ducks in a pond 8) monkey clinging to a hillock 9) white goats on a hillside 10) a pair of white cranes near bamboo 11) three spotted deer, plantain, and rock. Each album leaf is 5 1 /16 x 3 1/2 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To view another image from this album, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Black Japanese Helmet
    Black Japanese Helmet

    Helmet, black with gold 5-petal flower emblem, red underside. Japanese helmet of the type called jingasa, 12x 13 inches. Lacquered wood in excellent condition. During the Tokugawa period, a key means of social control were the great parades of warlords and their retainers going to and from the capital city of Edo, where they were required to spend every other year in attendance upon the Shogun. These “alternate attendance†(sankin kotai) processions, up to 4,000 strong in the case of the Maeda clan, had the effect of keeping the common people of Japan in awe of the warriors. “Alternate attendance†thus helped keep the peace, something that the Shogunate was so good at doing that there was no war for the 250 years of the Tokugawa reign. As the Pax Tokugawa continued on and on, however, the Shogun and his retainers became warriors who never went to war. The actual ability to fight thus became secondary to maintaining a fearsome image. As Herman Ooms puts it in his essay in Edo: Art in Japan, 1615-1868, form became norm, and image, more important than reality. It is just this process that transformed armor into Art. Armor in the late Tokugawa Period is all about image, a point quite clear in this helmet. The helmet purports to be covered with silk that parts to reveal rough steel plates held together with large, round rivets. In fact, the helmet is made entirely of a thin, light wood covered with a layer of lacquer and gilt.

  • Thumbnail for Jali Screen - detail of carving
    Jali Screen - detail of carving

    Mottled red sandstone; 43.25 x 26 inches. This crisply carved richly ornamental panel served as an architectural element in a palace or pavilion wall space. This detail shows the scrolling floral arabesques and arched motif in the upper section of the lattice window panel are typical Mogul decorative flourishes that are common in grand residential structures throughout Mogul India.

  • Thumbnail for Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (set)
    Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (set)

    The Japanese tradition for clothing accessories did not decline after Western influence arrived in Japan after the 18th century. The only change is that the inro (medicine case) was replaced by the tobacco pouch. Netsuke, a small accessory, functioned as a toggle or button for the wearing of articles, such as a pouch or a purse, on a sash, or obi in Japanese, in traditional Japanese clothing (kimono). It was originally used for an inro, a small medicine case, and was worn by the Japanese men after the 16th century. Inro could also contain a seal stamp and dry fruits for snacks, not only medicine. The art of netsuke reached its peak in the 18th century, and many designs were created during this time. The designs of netsuke varied. They were largely inspired by Japanese folk tales and tradition, ranging from historical and genre figures, to animals and plants. However, later the carvings changed for foreign collectors. Netsuke generally feature realistically executed subjects. Traditionally, the artist’s name would be carved at the bottom of the netsuke.

  • Thumbnail for Map of Japan, 18th c.
    Map of Japan, 18th c. by Kaempfer, Englebert

    Map by Dutchman, Kaempfer, documents the history of Japan during the period when it was closed off from most of the world in the Edo period. After the expulsion of the Portuguese and the persecution of Christinanity that occurred in the late 16th and early 17th century, the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to trade in Japan. The inscription says "Regni Japoniaee. Nova mappa geographica. Inscription is in the upper left with Asian figures, lower right are 24 mon (crests) of various daimyo (feudal lords) and 4 Japanese coins.

  • Thumbnail for Pine Tree with Birds and Flowers
    Pine Tree with Birds and Flowers by Anonymous artist of the Kano school

    Single six-panel screen. Ink, colors, and gold leaf on paper. 68" x 132.5". Although the artist is unidentified, there is a single jar-shaped seal, with the characters effaced, impressed on the right side. This shape seal is typically used by artists of the Kano school. This attribution concurs with the style of the painting, which is typical of Kano-school artists. Normally screens are made in pairs, so this one is missing its mate. The presence of the seal on the right side, as well as the composition (with the pine tree on the right and body of water on the left) suggest this is the right side of a pair. One of the most interesting features of this painting is the appearance of black underdrawing outlines of flowers adjacent to the white flowers, composed of thickly applied pigment, on the second panel from the right. These flowers were never meant to be visible in the finished painting. Their outlines were preliminary design features created by the artist in the process of sketching out his composition and then covered over by the gold leaf. Over time, the ink has bled through the gold which once obscured them. Painting has undergone restoration twice, in the 1920s and again in 1974.

  • Thumbnail for Vase with floral and bird design
    Vase with floral and bird design

    Indo-Pakistan region. Excavated in the Old City at Lahore during the archaeological digs outside of Lahore Fort in circa 1960. Originally dented and encrusted; it has undergone extensive restoration. Copper metal alloy, 5.25†x 4â€.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Maharajah
    Portrait of a Maharajah

    Rajasthani school; gouache on paper. 20.5†x 18â€.

  • Thumbnail for Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (metal clasp detail)
    Tobacco pouch with a netsuke (abalone shell motif) (metal clasp detail)

    The Japanese tradition for clothing accessories did not decline after Western influence arrived in Japan after the 18th century. The only change is that the inro (medicine case) was replaced by the tobacco pouch. Netsuke, a small accessory, functioned as a toggle or button for the wearing of articles, such as a pouch or a purse, on a sash, or obi in Japanese, in traditional Japanese clothing (kimono). It was originally used for an inro, a small medicine case, and was worn by the Japanese men after the 16th century. Inro could also contain a seal stamp and dry fruits for snacks, not only medicine. The art of netsuke reached its peak in the 18th century, and many designs were created during this time. The designs of netsuke varied. They were largely inspired by Japanese folk tales and tradition, ranging from historical and genre figures, to animals and plants. However, later the carvings changed for foreign collectors. Netsuke generally feature realistically executed subjects. Traditionally, the artist’s name would be carved at the bottom of the netsuke.

  • Thumbnail for Plate with Chinese motif of woman in a garden
    Plate with Chinese motif of woman in a garden

    9 3/4" X 9 3/4" X 1 1/2" Most likely made in Japan in the Arita manner. Depicts woman looking over a veranda railing at garden stone, flower, and butterfly.

  • Thumbnail for Cinnebar boxes
    Cinnebar boxes

    Two red-stained, carved Cinnabar Boxes with black lacquered interior.

  • Thumbnail for Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves spread out)
    Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves spread out)

    Width: 37 cm. Material: wood and green palm leaves; housed in a silk-covered hammered metal cylinder Date of text, 18th century; container possibly Chinese made later to house this document. This Sanskrit text is entitled “Rahasya†or Mystery and it is ascribed to Brahma. The Mystery contains religious legends. The Mystery is written on palm leaves in Grantham characters. The palm leaves were allowed to yellow to make the written characters more visible.

  • Thumbnail for Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves in tube)
    Indian Text Written on Palm Leaves entitled: Rahasya (Mystery) (leaves in tube)

    Width: 37 cm. Material: wood and green palm leaves; housed in a silk-covered hammered metal cylinder Date of text, 18th century; container possibly Chinese-made later to house this document. This Sanskrit text is entitled “Rahasya†or Mystery and it is ascribed to Brahma. The Mystery contains religious legends. The Mystery is written on palm leaves in Grantham characters. The palm leaves were allowed to yellow to make the written characters more visible.

  • Thumbnail for Spouted Ewer with Banded Leaf Decoration
    Spouted Ewer with Banded Leaf Decoration

    Indo-Islamic culture; Copper metal alloy, 9.5†x 7.5â€