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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.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

13. A triple-bladed ritual dagger or Phurba, essentially symbolizing the powerful Buddha-activity of Vajrakilaya, whose meditational practice is particularly effective for annihilating all obstructions. The Tibetan word phur-pa refers to a tethering stake or tent peg. In ancient rituals phurba as stakes were used in divining the precise location for the establishment of a monastery or temple. The lower blade of the phurba is said to represent skillful means and the upper handle wisdom. The blade emanates from the mouth of the makara, vehicle of the Vedic water god Varuna and the river goddess Ganga and has been identified by some scholars with freshwater dolphins that inhabit the River Ganges. The top of the phurba is crowned with the three traditional heads of the deities Yamantaka (removal of hatred), Amrita Kundalin (removal of delusion) and Hayagriva (removal of greed). This phurba culminates in a horse head at its top. The horse a symbol possessing endurance, strength, swiftness and obedience. Iron, solid copper and gilt. Early 1800’s.

Measuring 10 ½” long.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

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. A Jizai-kagi that is a force of nature. This extraordinary antique Japanese kettle hook was formed as a massive branch grew to accommodate a natural obstruction, perhaps created by a stony confine, where over decades it turned round to seek light. A craftsman observed the beauty of its form and did intuit its function as it came to serve as Ebisu’s fish hook, and to bless the hearth of a large country house. Ebisu, the Shinto God of the Sea, is a harbinger of prosperity. The patina of the wood is most appealing with evidence of the wear of the hanging rope and the soot accumulated from hundreds of kettle fires. Late Edo Period, circa 1860.

Measuring 16 ½” high by 16 ½” wide by 10” deep.

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

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 exquisite antique Japanese sculpted bronze ‘Kabin’ flower container in the form of a hanging gourd with vine and tendrils, leaf and blossoms. The gourd is a traditional symbol of abundance throughout the Far East. On the surface of this marvelous composition is a sculpted cicada, symbol of rebirth and immortality, and in Buddhism the migration of the soul to self-realization or enlightenment. Circa 1870. 

Measuring 14” high. 

 

         
     

 

 
 
 

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.