Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.
20x26 Japanese colored lithograph depicting one of the eight scenes from the Sino-Japanese War.
Woodblock print. 13Â¾" x 9". Paper was issued in the Tokugawa Period (1615-1868) in standard sizes, most prints being in the oban format of 15 x10. The smaller size of this print thus indicates cutting. Condition good with some slight damage and staining in center of the print. Professor Mandancyâ€™s letter identifies the work as one of the Fifty-three Stages of the TokaidÃ´ (TokaidÃ´ gojÃ»san no uchi), that is the set of 1833-34. Actually the print is from the 1855 set, as properly noted in her original list. The first step in making an Ukiyo-e woodblock print was an artist (eshi) painted a composition in ink on paper. The sketch (or later a copy) was pasted down on a plank of wood (usually cherry) and cut away to create the key or outline block. A separate person from the artist, called the cutter (hori), did the carving. A third person -- the rubber (suri) -- took the carved block and, placing it face up, moistened the printing surfaces by quickly brushing on water and glue. Color and ink were then applied by hand and pre-moistened paper placed onto the wet surface. The rubber then took the print by rubbing from behind with a baren (pad of rope covered by bamboo). It is usually presumed that the key block was used to make the patterns for the color blocks. In old views of Ukiyo-e, the key block, being closest to the sketch by the hand of the artist, was considered the most important. Authenticity, therefore, was mostly a matter of comparing lines in a questioned print to those in published, established, or otherwise accepted examples. If there was a match, the print was â€œgenuine,â€ and often labeled as such on a tag on the back. The print of Hakone is, moreover, very useful for teaching how to look at lines in Ukiyo-e because those forming the border around the image show gaps and are thin, indicating that the key block was old and worn when the print was taken. The lines in Shinagawa are stronger, an important point in determining the workâ€™s better condition.More interestingly, there is a worn area in the right hand corner of Hakone, where the printed line appears to have been scraped off and then drawn back in. Such repairs are common in Ukiyo-e and a much more obvious example is in the print of Shirasuka in the Union College Collection, by the same artist and from the same series. Shirasuka clearly has been repaired. For instance, there is a hole in its lower half of the print that has been filled in and colored to match the surrounding areas. In the lower right hand corner of Shirasuka, there is a place where the line has been obviously scraped off and then redrawn.
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 artistâ€™s name would be carved at the bottom of the netsuke.
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 womenâ€™s long hair in the prints by Kuniyoshi, Kunisada, Eizan, and Eisen.
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.
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.
Although the colors and fabrics have either faded or worn out, the stitching is refined. The motifs are often associated with auspicious symbolism (fertility) in addition to its aesthetic quality. The custom of womenâ€™s foot-binding has been documented before the 10th century in China, and was officially abolished in the Qing dynasty (1645-1911). However, Chinese women continued to accept this torment as a social norm. The foot-binding custom was not completely extinguished until the 1950s and 60s in China under enforcement from Christian missionaries and foreign military in the 1890s.
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.
Pair of embroidered shoes for bound feet of Chinese women: would appear to come from South China.
Celadon-glazed Korean vase.
27 Â½" x 74". The brushstrokeâ€™s ability to balance the creation of â€œspaceâ€ (kukan) with the needs of â€œspacingâ€ (kuhaku) is clear in the trees in the Union College BunchÃ´ Scrolls, where there is an acceptable image of foliage, but on closer inspection, the leaves are seen to be as carefully separated as the tarashikomi plants in the Union College Tosa Screens. In addition, the Union College BunchÃ´ Scrolls show many brushstrokes in which both sides of the line are used to render forms. We see such â€œdouble edged brushstrokesâ€ in the contours of the mountains, where the smooth run of the top of a line creates the overall rounded form of a peak, but the bottom has a series of bumps that render boulders within. Similarly, a single stroke suffices to create the branch of a tree, but because the two sides of the resulting line are different, the limb thins and has knobs and twists. When Ukiyo-e cutters carved such â€œdouble-edged brushstrokesâ€ into the block, they had to cut the two sides of each line separately anyway, so it was easy to reproduce their differing movements.
Ink on paper, 28-3/8 x 49-3/4". This is a large calligraphic work transcribing a Buddhist text that is popularly known as the â€œHeart Sutra.â€ A number of transcriptions and translations may be found in the file. The artistâ€™s inscription records a date of 1960. An important contemporary and woman artist working in traditional Chinese ink medium, Fang in known primarily for her painting. But, this calligraphic work in standard script could be used in teaching calligraphy. It is also useful for providing some gender balance in the calligraphy canon. Gu Kaizhi was said to have learned his art from a woman, after all. Fang, known primarily as a paintier, is the subject of a major retrospective recently at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.
This fan has good detail and color quality, and is most likely inspired by a literary theme.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 â€œbig wheel fan,â€ 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.
Cushion resting on a wooden base. This type of pillow can be seen in Japanese prints and paintings of the Edo era (1603-1868 AD), so it is identified as â€œJapanese,â€ which differed from Chinese pillows largely made of ceramics. It was used by ladies who rested on the back of their neck to avoid messing up their elaborate hairdos. The drawer at the bottom of the wooden base may have contained personal belongings, including jewelry at some point. Its condition is fine, but the colors of the cushion have faded (the design and pattern on the cushion remain visible).
Color woodblock print, 11-3/8 x 15-1/2". The Sculptor of TokobueÃ¯ depicts a seated man carving a Buddha image. The last word is likely a French Romanization of a South Seas term for a location or name of the object being carved. Artistâ€™s seal takes a floral shape around the character. A second seal with a legend in two columns seems also be associated with the artistâ€™s identity or affiliation. Jacoulet [1896-1960] was born in Paris, but from a very young age lived in Japan.
This incense burner bears an inscription on the lower right corner indicating a date in the era of Taisho (1912-1926 AD). It also bears identical motifs with an additional design of grapes, which symbolize fertility and abundance as well (adapted from China). This object may have been used in the households of the elite class. The object is made of either solid silver or pewter due to its heavy weight. Its function could be as a paperweight, an incense burner, or both. The motifs (turtle, cranes, and pine trees) have common auspicious associations with longevity, and became favored by the samurai classes after the 16th century in Japan.
The object is made of either solid silver or pewter due to its heavy weight. Its function could be as a paperweight, an incense burner, or both. The motifs (turtle, cranes, and pine trees) have common auspicious associations with longevity, and became favored by the samurai classes after the 16th century in Japan.
Set of armor including helmet, chest armor, shoulder, thigh, and arm armor, and shirts. Very well made. From Kyushu. Only the helmet was photographed.
Carved from a large rhinoceros horn. Imitation of a bronze Han Dynasty mirror. Two dragons decorate the surface.
Carved wooden sculpture of the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (Guanyin). Painted wood. The Bodhisattva wears a beaded necklace that crosses at navel and extends to shins. A third row of beads extends down between the legs. A circular medallion enclosing a diamond pattern is just above the knees on the central axis. Two sashes extend down on either side of the legs. The right hand exhibits an unusual mudra for an image in this style. The left hand holds a drooping flower bud. This is a finely crafted piece, and it is also a puzzle. This is carved in the so-called ""columnar"" style of the Northern Qi dynasty (late 6th century CE), but it cannot be that old. Wooden Buddhist sculpture of that time period is virtually non-existent except for a few fragments found in central Asia. Many surviving wooden Buddhist images date to the Song Dynasty, however they are rendered in a later, and more fluid, naturalistic style radically different from this image. Perhaps this piece is from a later provincial temple in which an archaizing style was deliberately adopted (as was commonly done in the painting tradition)? It could be some kind of modern forgery, but it is highly unlikely. If a modern forger wished to pass of such an image as a Qi dynasty piece he would be an utter fool to make it of wood.
Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Seki means 'checkpoint', and checkpoints were set up at strategic locations by the Tokugawa government to control traveling, police the road and prevent any unlawful activities. Hiroshige illustrates the arrival of a high ranking official accompanied by his entourage at Seki.
Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Burning pink flames between grey mountains as porters travel along the narrow and steep mountain pass at Hakone, near Lake Ashinoko. Hiroshige captured the moment when porters struggle to carry their feudal retainers in sedan chairs as darkness nears.
Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. Odawara was a post town facing Sagami Bay. It is said that travelers on the Tokaido often stayed in Odawara for the night to rest in order to prepare for climbing the deadly Hakone pass the next day.l
Color woodblock, 15 1/4 X 10 1/2 inches, ink and color on paper. Shin Hanga print by Kawase Hasui of the early 18th century Nezu Shrine. Captured on a snowy day, Hasui creates a photographic effect showing the entrance in a cropped view. Architectural features are sharply detailed against the white background; the marshy walkway coming in from the right leads the viewer's eye into the print.