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  • Thumbnail for Ceremonial sword and sheath-full view
    Ceremonial sword and sheath-full view by Paiwan

    The ceremonial sword and sheath were important symbols of social status and male potency in traditional Paiwan culture in Taiwan. The sheath is decorated with human ancestral figures and a sacred mythological creature, the hundred-pace snake.

  • Thumbnail for Bowl with lotus decoration.
    Bowl with lotus decoration.

    Brass, 4 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 1/4 inches. Shaped as an opening lotus on an inverted lotus base. Possibly used within a Buddhist ritual context.

  • Thumbnail for Cotton robe-front view
    Cotton robe-front view

    Robe made of Japanese cotton and old Japanese kimonos with complex embroidered decorations on the front and back. From Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Bowl with lotus decorations - view of interior
    Bowl with lotus decorations - view of interior

    Brass, 4 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 1/4 inches. Detail showing wear on interior of bowl.

  • Thumbnail for Set of imperial ceremonial armor-helmet font-side view
    Set of imperial ceremonial armor-helmet font-side view

    Set of armor including inner skirt, outer skirt, vest, jacket, shoulder guards, and brass helmet. The armor is trimmed in velvet and has metal studding and wrapped metal threads. Only the helmet was photographed.

  • Thumbnail for Light green shoes for bound feet (inside detail)
    Light green shoes for bound feet (inside detail)

    Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of Huang Daozhou accompanying painting of Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind
    Portrait of Huang Daozhou accompanying painting of Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind by Jiao Bingzhen

    This image precedes a very long handscroll that includes an additional series of colophons as well as a title frontispiece. It is historically quite interesting since the artist of the handscroll, Huang Daozhou, was a notable Ming patriot and martyr. His biography is included beside the portrait, which precede the ink bamboo and pine. The authors of the other colophons praise Huang. 103 x 15 1/2 inches.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes with Cranes - one from an album of six
    Landscapes with Cranes - one from an album of six by Lu Zhi (1496-1576) (attributed)

    This album of landscapes with cranes includes a seventh leaf giving an attribution to the Ming dynasty master painter Lu Zhi. The attribution is spurious. The landscapes are fairly well done, but at times, the cranes are awkwardly rendered. The subject is an auspicious one, and the album would have made a nice birthday present, wishing the recipient a long life. The images are pleasant, probably dates to the Qing dynasty. 10 1/2 x 12 inches. The album contains six leaves total.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido - Sakanoshita, Station 49
    53 Stations of the Tokaido - Sakanoshita, Station 49 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Large white mountain range with travelers looking out appreciating the view. Sakanoshita was a dangerous part of the highway due to bandits. Hiroshige nevertheless focuses on the scenery and the enjoyment of the pilgrim travelers.

  • Thumbnail for Kumamoto Castle in Samidare
    Kumamoto Castle in Samidare by Kawase Hasui

    Color woodblock, 15 1/4 X 10 1/2 inches, ink and color on paper. Shin Hanga print otherwise known as 'Rain in May' by Kawase Hasui.Framed by large green trees on each side, the beautiful roof lines of the castle are revealed on a rainy day in spring. To the left, a humble wooden structure is laid out in horizontal fashion balancing the high rising castle behind it.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Minakuchi, Station 51
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Minakuchi, Station 51 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Men and women attendants outside two-story establishment soliciting for trade, literally dragging men off the street in the evening.

  • Thumbnail for 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Akasaka, Station 37
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Akasaka, Station 37 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Pilgrim with horse in foreground between green hillsides, wandering the street of the village at sundown.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Boxer Supporter (detail)
    Portrait of a Boxer Supporter (detail)

    28 1/8/" x 18 15/16". Ink and colors on paper. Detail of head of formal family portrait of Boxer supporter. Shows influence of Western photography on Chinese portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for View of the Earth - detail
    View of the Earth - detail

    Colored ink or paint on paper, 12 3/4 inch circle. Detail of interior circle with inscription describing the various 'seas' that move outward from the central image.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese Porcelain Plate
    Japanese Porcelain Plate

    9 1/4" X 9 1/4" X 3 1/2" round plate with floral motif in the center.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - middle of scroll
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - middle of scroll

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. (text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire scroll measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view more of the scroll, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape in the style of Mi Fu from Album of Eight Minature Landscapes
    Landscape in the style of Mi Fu from Album of Eight Minature Landscapes by Zhang Peidun (1772-1846)

    This album of landscapes demonstrates Zhang's ability to paint in a number of classic idioms, including the misty "Mi" family style, and the style of Ni Zan. The album could have functioned as an artist's sketchbook of compositions and styles, but it would have had value for collectors. A good representation of the orthodox styles available to artists of the late imperial period. 7 5/8 x 4 7/8 inches. Ink on paper. See related album leaf by clicking on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Tea Room image 6 (tea sets)
    Tea Room image 6 (tea sets) by Seiji Suzuki

    A traditional "mizuya" or preparation room sits apart from the tearoom. Typically, the most honored guest sits closest to the alcove, but our tea room is designed in a configuration known as geza-doko, which allows visitors to enjoy a full view during a demonstration. The first guest sits closest to the outer-most edge of the tea room.

  • Thumbnail for Girl With Brazier - detail of character inscription
    Girl With Brazier - detail of character inscription by Cheng Yunhuang

    This is a competent image of a winsome girl executed in the Shanghai school style developed by Ren Xiong and others. Note the eccentric, but lively brushstrokes that represent the folds in her robe. 36 3/16 x 8 inches. Ink and light colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape - detail of frontispiece
    Landscape - detail of frontispiece by attrib. Wang Hui (1632-1717)

    The Wang Hui attribution is probably spurious. The painting is, however, a good example of orthodox landscape in the late imperial period. 67 7/8" x 12 7/8". Ink and colors on satin. Very much darkened with some in-painting. To see the painting, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Bronze Belt Hook (side one)
    Chinese Bronze Belt Hook (side one)

    3" l. Cast with long scrolled horns flanking a crest, large ears, prominent snout and protruding curved tongue forming the hook.

  • Thumbnail for Pair of imari Spice Boxes with covers
    Pair of imari Spice Boxes with covers

    Pair of rare Chinese imari stemmed spice boxes and covers decorated with chrysanthemum and peony borne on leafy stems.

  • Thumbnail for Blue and White Plate
    Blue and White Plate

    Kraak ware, the center decorated with unusual scene of two deer (one spotted) at the water's edge, in a landscape of rocks, flowers, trees. Cracked with raised, unglazed "bumps" in center.

  • Thumbnail for Kikujido and gun lacquer, 3 case inro
  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - end of scroll
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - end of scroll

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. From a text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire work measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view other images related to this work, click on related record below.