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11. An antique Japanese functional work of art as a bronze ‘Koro’ incense burner, cast in the form of a ripe eggplant standing nested within a section of vine as a small frog climbs the stem. The lid to this koro is formed by the cap and stem, which lifts off to tend the incense. Smoke would emerge from natural apertures in the cap that the artist has created to appear to have been formed by the gnawing of insects (wabi sabi). The symbolism of the eggplant is abundance and prosperity, as well as healthy progeny; and the frog is a well-recognized symbol of good luck and good fortune throughout the Far East. Burning incense within this container would have been a ritual practice to invoke such auspicious well-being. Shibuichi and Suaka (red bronze). Japan, circa 1880.

Measuring 9 ½” high.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

12. A marvelous antique Japanese bronze Usubata (flower container) in the form of a sculpture of a mystic frog who is able to make his thoughts manifest, symbolized by the wisp that issues from his mouth into the full expression of the living art of ikebana. The legend of the frog spirit (Ch’ing Wa Sheng) originated from a tale of healing and prosperity. Circa 1880.

Measuring 9 ½” high by 7 ¼” diameter.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

 

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

14. An antique 8 spoked captain's wheel for a Chinese Junk. The hardwood is sealed with lacquer and powerfully reinforced with forged iron hub and wheel bracket. The configuration is identical to the Buddhist Dharma Wheel, an Asian design principle with enduring cultural influence. Circa 1880.

Measuring 40" diameter.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

15. An important antique Japanese bronze temple lantern 'Toro' with prominent display of the 'Aoi' Mon or heraldic crest of the Tokugawa Shogunate (the in facto lineage of rulers of Japan from 1615 to 1867) who would have been responsible for the commissioning of this lantern. Elegant in its proportions and execution of detail, this lost wax casting begins with a six sided pedestal base, sculpted with panels depicting 'Shishi' or temple lions and peony blossoms. This is topped with a stylized lotus petal dais from which springs a pillar engraved as a water spout. The lotus petal detail then repeats in a realistic pattern to support the base of the candle housing which is sculpted with raised panels of Celestial Dragons. The pierced globe of the candle housing features the Tokugawa Mon with foliate scroll designs, two of which are hinged to open for the tending of the candles. The domed roof of the lantern is fitted into the candle globe with a profuse array of stylized cloud patterns. The top of the dome again displays the Tokugawa Mon and sweeps to the end points of each gable with a stylized sculpted head of a Sea Dragon. The crown finishes with panels of traditional kesa (priests robes) designs and a large lotus bud spire. Edo Period, circa 1780. Acquired by an officer of the armed forces during the occupation.

Measuring 74” high.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

16. A commanding pair of antique Japanese bronze candle stands ‘Shokudai’ for a Buddhist altar. The base is tiered with elegant tripod cabriole legs mounted to a pedestal that houses the tending jar and tongs. Above this is open metalwork of stylized kiku blossoms beneath a marvelous casting of gourds and leafy tendrils, symbol of abundance and prosperity. This forms the support of the vial shaped stem of the candle dish and pricket. Together they make a most impressive statement. Taisho period.

Measuring 23 ¾” high.

 

         
         
 
 

17. An extraordinary work of imagination and skill, this antique Japanese lacquer work of art reveals a miniature world where a procession of frogs carry lanterns and provisions for a frog of noble personage riding in a palanquin made of lily pads. They roam through a landscape of meadow flowers beneath a full moon and a soaring flock of sacred cranes. This rare work of art of highly sophisticated lacquer techniques is fittingly presented on a custom tripod pedestal of wood that was carved as three sections of timber bamboo. The wood was then finished in black lacquer with gold lacquer details of bamboo stalks and foliate leaves.

Measuring 9" high, including the base.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

18. An outstanding pair of bamboo 'Bitong' - Brush Pots of tall square form, signed by the noted artist Ma Tai (1885-1935), distinguished professor of the Shanghai Art College (see page 574 in "Dictionary of Chinese Courtesy Names & Sobriquets"). Each bitong was created of bamboo panels of carved relief literati landscapes that are beautifully rendered and accompanied by corresponding panels of classical Tang Dynasty poetry. This aesthetic is traditional 'Scholar's Taste' and particularly relevant given the auspicious function of holding calligraphy brushes, within a bitong made of such propitious material as bamboo. Circa 1925.

Measuring 14” high by 6 ½” square.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

19. A Japanese 18th century bronze temple ‘Shokudai’ table lantern with hand pierced panels of foliate lotus. The domed roof with pierced celestial cloud pattern is supported upon a circular band of pierced lotus design, all intended to cast delicate silhouettes of light. The original candle cup remains suspended within the interior and the lantern is mounted to a custom carved wood pedestal with scrolled feet. Circa 1780.

Measuring 13” high by 7 ½” diameter.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

20. An antique Japanese eight-gabled iron bronze garden lantern with silhouette of the Sho Chiku Bai (pine, bamboo and plum), sometimes known as the "three winter friends", a symbol of strength and endurance. Early Showa Period, circa 1930's.

Measuring 12 ½" high by 13" diameter.