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  • 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 Pair of Japanese landscapes
    Pair of Japanese landscapes by Tani Bunchô (1763-1840)

    27 ½" x 74". The brushstroke’s ability to balance the creation of “space†(kukan) with the needs of “spacing†(kuhaku) is clear in the trees in the Union College Bunchô 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 Bunchô Scrolls show many brushstrokes in which both sides of the line are used to render forms. We see such “double edged brushstrokes†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 “double-edged brushstrokes†into the block, they had to cut the two sides of each line separately anyway, so it was easy to reproduce their differing movements.

  • 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 Ceremonial sword and sheath-front view
    Ceremonial sword and sheath-front 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 Cotton hood-side view 2
    Cotton hood-side view 2

    Hood made of Japanese cotton and old Japanese kimonos. From Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for Traveler in Autumn
    Traveler in Autumn

    15 1/8 X 6 3/4 watercolor painting of a traveler during autumn.

  • Thumbnail for Set of armor-back view
    Set of armor-back view

    Set of armor including helmet, chest armor, shoulder, thigh, and arm armor, and shirts. Very well made. From Kyushu. Only the helmet was photographed.

  • 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 Evening at Kintaikyo Bridge, in Spring
    Evening at Kintaikyo Bridge, in Spring by Kawase Hasui

    Color woodblock, 15 1/4 X 10 1/2 inches, ink and color on paper. Shin Hanga print showing one of the 'Three Bridges of Japan'. Built in the late 17th century by Lord Hiroyoshi Kikkawa to solve the transportation problem when the Nishiki River flooded. Hasui presents the five arch bridge and its surroundings in a lyric manner, looking through pink cherry blossoms at a pebbled bank with a man maneuvering his boat beneath the bridge.

  • Thumbnail for 53 stations of the Tokaido: Yoshida - Station 35
    53 stations of the Tokaido: Yoshida - Station 35 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    Color woodblock, 7 X 9 1/4 inches, ink and color on paper. People passing over a bridge with heavy loads and one woman on a horse. Large section of water with boats in front of the city of Yoshida, high rising buildings in the distance.

  • 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 Ceremonial sword and sheath-handle
    Ceremonial sword and sheath-handle 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 Set of two 4-panel Japanese screens
    Set of two 4-panel Japanese screens by Tosa School

    36" x 72". The screens date to the 20th c. but show 17-18th c Tosa painting methods. These screens typify Tosa painting.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Boxer Supporter
    Portrait of a Boxer Supporter

    28 1/8" x 18 15/16 inches, ink and colors on paper. Formal family portrait of a supporter of the Boxer rebellion. Signed 'Charles F. Gammon 1900'.

  • Thumbnail for The God of Pulior - Ganesha image
    The God of Pulior - Ganesha image

    Roughly carved figure of the Hindu god, Ganesha. Wood, 6 x 3 x 1 1/2 inches, from the Madura Mission.

  • Thumbnail for Man's beaded jacket-front view
    Man's beaded jacket-front view by Chief Tonkaling

    Man's beaded jacket made of abaca fiber. From Mindanao.

  • 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 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 53 Stations of the Tokaido: Seki, Station 48
    53 Stations of the Tokaido: Seki, Station 48 by Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Landscape in the style of Ni Zan from an Album of Eight Miniature Landscapes
    Landscape in the style of Ni Zan from an Album of Eight Miniature 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.

  • 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 Landscapes with Cranes - detail of inscription
    Landscapes with Cranes - detail of inscription by Lu Zhi (1496-1576) (attributed)

    This seventh album leaf is the text attributing the album to 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. For one image from the album, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for General Zhu Zhixi (1624-1666) in His Garden
    General Zhu Zhixi (1624-1666) in His Garden by Jiao Bingzhen (1689-1726)

    The inscription gives Jiao Bingzhen as the artist, though the painting is probably later in date. The painting depicts a scene from the biography of General Zhu Zhixi, president of the Board of War for the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. A biography is appended. The scene shows the general in a library set into a garden, with servants nearby. 11 7/8 x 44 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - seal and text detail
    General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - seal and text detail by Jiao Bingzhen (1689-1726)

    Seal and text detail found on handscroll General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden. The inscription gives Jiao Bingzhen as the artist, though the painting is probably later in date. The painting depicts a scene from the biography of General Zhu Zhixi, president of the Board of War for the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. A biography is appended. The scene shows the general in a library set into a garden, with servants nearby. To see the entire scroll, see related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Frontispiece to painting of One Hundred Boys
    Frontispiece to painting of One Hundred Boys by Gu Luo (1763-?)

    Frontispiece giving date and title to the painting of One Hundred Boys by Gu Luo. The painting employs the same pastel, bright palette for depicting an auspicious subject of 100 boys playing. This theme would have been functional as a gift for a newlywed couple. The image is delightful and humorous.11 15/16 x 88 15/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To see the entire scroll, click on related record below.