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  • Thumbnail for Writing Utensil Box with Designs of Hatsuse Mountain Landscape and Monkeys
    Writing Utensil Box with Designs of Hatsuse Mountain Landscape and Monkeys

    In this writing box, the tray below originally held brushes and inksticks. The round metal water-dropper that sits in a depression on the upper left side was used to add some water to the inkstone on which the inkstick was rubbed to make ink. The inkstone also sits in a fitted spce, to keep it from moving around as the inkstick is rubbed on it. The trees on the mountain include hinoki (cypress) tha, along with the cherry tree, are sometimes associated with Hatsuse Mountain in classical poetry. A large applied-silver moon looms from behind the mountain in a cloudless sky. The design on the inside of the lid shows a monkey with its baby reaching for the reflection of the thin-slivered moon in water. - abridged from description by Andrew Pekarik.

  • Thumbnail for Sake Ewer
    Sake Ewer

    This Sake ewer is an example of old Kutani porcelain wares.

  • Thumbnail for Saddle and Stirrups with Design of Reeds and Dew
    Saddle and Stirrups with Design of Reeds and Dew

    As early as the Heian era, warlords owned and used saddles with elegant lacquered designs. This saddle was owned by Hideyoshi. An inscription on the saddle suggests that it is an older structure that was redecorated for Hideyoshi.

  • Thumbnail for Seal
    Seal

    Bottom of seal with example of calligraphic seal script, commonly used for seals in China.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze oviform vase and hexagonal stand - bottom view
    Bronze oviform vase and hexagonal stand - bottom view

    This solidly cast, evenly patinated simple form recalls the subtlety of Song Dynasty ceramics, themselves, a revival of delicate archaic forms seen in ancient bronzes and pottery. This shape also is seen in varying forms in Ming and Qing Dynasty Imperial porcelains and the attached openwork fret-pattern hexagonal stand is a common early Qing embellishment found in both bronze vessels and porcelain.

  • Thumbnail for Gilt bronze pin
    Gilt bronze pin

    This intricate and beautifully detailed applique comprising three overlapping circular dragon discs could have been an adornment on a court or military dress or perhaps an attachment for a horse trapping. 1 inch high by 3 inches wide.

  • Thumbnail for Silla Bronze Mirror
    Silla Bronze Mirror

    Bronze mirrors initially appeared in Korea around the middle of the first millennium B.C. The dating of Korean mirrors is problematic for the lack of sources. This mirror is attributed the Silla period; a period of major creative force in the arts of Korea history; a period when imitations of Chinese mirrors and Korean-made pieces were simultaneously made. Artistic creativity of this period marks a departure from the rigid comparmentalized designs of early mirrors to a free refreshing design, suggesting that Silla mirrors were produced in the more peaceful years of the Koryo. Furthermore, in the past, mirrors were often copied, imported, as in the case of Japanese mirrors. Early mirrors are approximately 8-11 cm with simple geometric decorative patterns, slightly smaller than this one. To determine the authenticity, the provenance, and the exact period of this mirror would need extensive scientific analysis of the metal alloy content (copper, tin, or lead). The content of this report could only attempt to analyze the motifs of the period, which appear to be Korean in origin. Silla royal and aristocrat's tombs preserve objects of splendor with extraordinary beauty and sophisticated craftsmanship. Their quality and design reflect the Silla elite's refined tastes and their impetus in expressing social and political status. The shape of this mirror has a scalloped edge with pointed lobes in imitation of floral forms, symbolical of auspiciousness and prosperity, and stylized clouds that embellish the lobed petals. One side is flat and not well polished with sign of corrosion; it serves as a reflective surface. The other has an eyelet in in the center for a tassel to hold or hang the mirror. The visible influence of Chinese mirrors reflects on the narrative theme of this mirror with raised decorations of two figures nestled in a beautiful landscape backdropwith rocks and verdure: a male figure sitting under a tree, probably a cypress tree with typical clumps of leaves, playing a musical instrument on his lap while a lady dances to the rhythm of his music. Such a euphonious scene! There are no facial features; yet, the clothing style and headdress help identify the genderof these figures. The overall design is symmetrical. The detailed expression reveals a variation of fine technique refinement characteristically of the Silla period. Although unique to Korea, the motifs and subjects of everyday associations suggest an artistic interchange between China and Korea at that period. Similar mirrors with anrrative themes were found in both China and Korea.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese feather fan with male figures and floral patterns (side 2)
    Chinese feather fan with male figures and floral patterns (side 2)

    This fan centers on two male figures (likely from literary or historical novels) with floral patterns around, which is much more rare than the bird and flower themes. Although their conditions are poor, they are very interesting artifacts. The Chinese export of feather fans first appeared in Europe during the first quarter of the 19th century. They are usually made of goose feathers (occasionally with added peacock feathers on the top) mounted on sticks which can be made of a variety of materials, including ivory and bone. The frames of the fans are carved, showing the quality of their craftsmanship, with flowers and classical scripts, which could be either an imitation of Oracle bone characters or seal/clerical scripts. Originally these fans would have been very costly.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze vessel (handle detail)
    Bronze vessel (handle detail)

    In ancient Japan (prior to the Meiji era, 1868-1912), metalwork was solely for swords and Buddhist statues. During the Meiji era, a decree abolishing sword-wearing and the restoration of Shintoism, the original religion of Japan, as the national religion caused the making of metalwork to shift to objects for export and home consumption; the functions of objects and subject of decoration tended to be secular. This vase, designed with a style of Chinese bronze vessel, bears 8 different scenes on the entire body. There are four large panels, with subjects ranging from figurative to seascapes, on the main body of the vessel, and four small horizontal scenes, landscapes and seascapes are the subjects (possibly a display of the four seasons), on the bottom. The designs are done in relief. The borders of the panels are also ornamented with plant patterns, chrysanthemums and gingko tree leaves in particular common Japanese floral motif. A great deal of artistic appeal and distinctive styles are the trademark of Meiji metalwork.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze vessel
    Bronze vessel

    In ancient Japan (prior to the Meiji era, 1868-1912), metalwork was solely for swords and Buddhist statues. During the Meiji era, a decree abolishing sword-wearing and the restoration of Shintoism, the original religion of Japan, as the national religion caused the making of metalwork to shift to objects for export and home consumption; the functions of objects and subject of decoration tended to be secular. This vase, designed with a style of Chinese bronze vessel, bears 8 different scenes on the entire body. There are four large panels, with subjects ranging from figurative to seascapes, on the main body of the vessel, and four small horizontal scenes, landscapes and seascapes are the subjects (possibly a display of the four seasons), on the bottom. The designs are done in relief. The borders of the panels are also ornamented with plant patterns, chrysanthemums and gingko tree leaves in particular common Japanese floral motif. A great deal of artistic appeal and distinctive styles are the trademark of Meiji metalwork.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese feather fan with birds and flowers (side 1 )
    Chinese feather fan with birds and flowers (side 1 )

    This fan displays a pair of peacocks and peonies and other flowers, which are common subjects in these types of fan. Although its condition is poor,it is a very interesting artifacts. The Chinese export of feather fans first appeared in Europe during the first quarter of the 19th century. They are usually made of goose feathers (occasionally with added peacock feathers on the top) mounted on sticks which can be made of a variety of materials, including ivory and bone. The frames of the fans are carved, showing the quality of their craftsmanship, with flowers and classical scripts, which could be either an imitation of Oracle bone characters or seal/clerical scripts. Originally these fans would have been very costly.

  • Thumbnail for Four-panel Coromandel folding screen
    Four-panel Coromandel folding screen

    72" x 67". Ebony. The screens usually present complete scenes, often of Chinese life, though European nautical and hunting scenes are not unknown. The Union College Coromandel Screen is unusual in consisting of a series of separate compositions, each a reproduction of a Chinese bird and flower painting, complete with signature. The Union College Coromandel Screen shows such hallmarks of value as a complex design and fine detail. The screen has value in teaching how ukiyo-e cutters transformed paintings into prints. The Union College Coromandel Screen is particularly good for this purpose because it consists, as noted above, of a series of reproductions of paintings. In addition, the Union College Coromandel Screen was carved using the same reductive process employed by ukiyo-e cutters, wherein the surface is cut into and material removed to leave lines and shapes. The feathers of the birds in the Union College Coromandel Screen show just how fine lines can be cut, making these birds an excellent way to understand how ukiyo-e cutters made the spectacular treatments of the women’s long hair in the prints by Kuniyoshi, Kunisada, Eizan, and Eisen.

  • Thumbnail for Ink -wash wooden wheel fan (side 2 figure detail)
    Ink -wash wooden wheel fan (side 2 figure detail)

    This fan features a genre scene in ink-wash style brushwork, The fan emerged in Japan by the 9th century AD. The Japanese have a long tradition of making wooden fans threaded together on the top of each rib. However, the size of this fan is large, and the format (circular when opened to its full extension) may be inspired by a type known as “big wheel fan,†attributed to Korea, during the Yi (Chosen) dynasty (1392-1910 AD). However, the brushwork, subject matter, and motifs of the paintings on the fans are Japanese. The size and weight of the fan might not have a practical function. The common motifs on Japanese wooden fans include stories from literature, such as the Tale of Genji.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Bronze Vase (view 1)
    Chinese Bronze Vase (view 1)

    7 1/4 " h. Pyriform body, elongated neck with a long dragon entwined terminating with a bulbous mouth surmounted by an upright cylindrical lip, all supported by a tall splayed foot ring, traces of gilding.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (front)
    Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (front)

    4 3/4" w. Astronomical mirror.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (front)
    Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (front)

    6 1/4" w. The central pierced knob surrounded by four radiating petals enclosed by a square band filled with dashes vertical and horizontal and loops at the corners, encircled by eight slightly raised bosses and dragons with birds, with outer concentric rings of archaic characters and dog-tooth bands. The recessed portion cast in linear relief integrated with the Ts, Ls, and Vs.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Copper-red Pot
    Chinese Copper-red Pot

    2 3/4" x 2 3/4". Globular form with white ground glazed all over except for the bottom of the foot ring, painted with copper-red dragons pursuing a pearl amid cloud forms on two sides, a band above the foot ring with floral meander and a band of alternating ruyi heads and bats around the mouth, details picked out with gilding, plus a gilded ring on the lip, marked in red enamel, within an incised ring, with four character mark of Qianlong and of the period.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Bronze Hand Warmer with Engraved Dragons and Flowers (view from above)
    Chinese Bronze Hand Warmer with Engraved Dragons and Flowers (view from above)

    2" h x 2 3/4" w. Ovate body with engraved design of dragons on two sides enclosed in arabesque cartouches and engraved peonies in arabesque cartouches on the other two sides, rectangular cover, domed and cast in relief with a dragon and preforated bale handle, traces of gilding and lacquer.

  • Thumbnail for Glazed White Vase
    Glazed White Vase

    Vase with light carving under a milky white glaze. Floral motif wraps around the piece, which has been repaired with a metal band around the lip.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Molded Dehua Porcelain Libation Cup
    Chinese Molded Dehua Porcelain Libation Cup

    2 1/6" h. Faceted, flared sides molded with raised animals, tigers, deer, etc., octagonal lip, four comma-shape feet, unctuous cream-white glaze, body thick and translucent.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Mutton Fat Jade with Wooden Stand (with stand)
    Chinese Mutton Fat Jade with Wooden Stand (with stand)

    3 7/8" l. Greenish-white jade with russet markings carved in an archaistic style standing dragon, handcarved fitted wood stand.

  • Thumbnail for Blue Glass Vase with Box
    Blue Glass Vase with Box

    Small blown glass bottle, mottled with various colors ranging from light blue to brown intermixed with bits of mica to create a sparkling effect. Presented to Robert Thorp in a small box with stand.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Dingyao Vase
    Chinese Dingyao Vase

    5 5/5" h. A baluster dorm with undulating foliate mouth and tall splayed foot ring , decorated in low relief, molded, with four separated panels of stiff lotus blossoms framed in arabesque reserve and divided by broad vertical columns which is all flanked by bands, top and bottom, of very thin rayed leaves, the bottom band continuing down the foot, extremely thin and light weight, the buff white glaze covers just the exterior and part of the interior, leaving the concave domed interior and the foot ring unglazed, white porcelaneous body.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Famille Rose Vases
    Chinese Famille Rose Vases

    5 1/2" h. Tall, slender form with ovoid body, slender elongated neck flaring to an inverted lip with an overall incised design of flowers enameled in famille rose colors, red enamel seal mark of Qianlong and of the period.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Carved Soapstone Vases - back view
    Chinese Carved Soapstone Vases - back view

    9 3/4"" each. Two vases with peony branches, flowers and leaves twisted around the front of the baluster form vases, continuing down to include the four legged stands carved from one stone, two pieces.