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1. An antique Japanese ivory portrait sculpture of a grandfather figure resting on his walking stick holding scissors and a freshly cut kiku blossom that he will bring to create an ‘Ikebana’ flower arrangement for the household. Japanese culture reveres the elderly as the head of the household and a source of great wisdom. This work of art is carved with exceptional sensitivity and reverence and conveys a highly realist presence, likely inspired by a family member of the artist. Tokyo School. Signed Yoshi Aki. Circa 1900.

Measuring 8 ¼” high.

 

         
         
 
 

2. An exquisite antique Japanese ivory and silver covered box. The ivory is sculpted in a deeply carved relief depicting a continuous scene in the round, of the joys of cherry blossom viewing, when families gather outdoors for the traditional festivities of the season. Beneath the blossoming branches we see the shamisen being played while a woman performs a fan dance and their companion raises his saké cup and sings. We see a woman steadied by her friend balancing on the back of a gentleman, to assist her in tying an 'omikuji' to a low lying branch, while a samurai with open fan looks on. Lanterns hang in an open air pavilion and bento boxes, a saké gourd and tokuri all benefit the telling of the story. The lid of the box is double lined and executed in the very finest of hand chased silver repoussé with a kiku blossom knop. Meiji Period, late 1800's.

Measuring 6 ¼" high by 4" wide by 3 ½" deep.

 
         
         
 
 

3. An antique Japanese carved ivory okimono (sculpture) of a Zen archer with one pointed mind of concentration. He kneels with his kimono sleeve tied, his bow string drawn and unerring focus on his target. On the mat beside him rests his samurai sword, a pouch and a small box for archer's implements. A hollowed bamboo stand holds additional arrows ready for his practice. Signed in a red lacquer reserve, Seigyokutou. Circa 1880.

Measuring 7 ½” high by 5 ¼” wide by 4 ½” deep.

 
         
         
 
 

4. An antique Japanese ivory okimono of a most unusual subject where an artist was creating an ink painting of 'Kinko and the Koi' when the scroll flew up and the ancient sage and his steed miraculously emerged from the paper. The artist appears 'God Smacked', to best express his surprise, a whole new meaning to the notion of bringing a work of art to life. Circa 1890.

Measuring 6 ½" high.

 
         
         
 
 

5. An antique Japanese ivory okimono of a lion standing on a rocky outcropping with one paw raised encouraging two young cubs to clamber to the top. This subject in Japanese art is traditionally enacted by mythological 'shishi' or temple lions and symbolize the courage to which the young cubs must aspire. In this instance the artist is inspired by having actually seen real lions, a species only imagined in earlier times. Signed Hidémitsu. Circa 1900.

Measuring 4 ½" high.

 
         
         
 
 

6. Shotoku-Taishi  (572-621)

A most unusual miniature antique Japanese ivory okimono depicting the young prince Shotoku-Taishi (572-621) holding a hossu (whisk associated with Buddhist meditation) as he stands in the guidance of a wise and kindly monk.  This mentor likely represents his teacher Eben who had come to Nara from Koma (present day Korea).  Eben holds a skull to symbolize the Buddhist teaching of impermanence, a rather profound instruction for such a young charge.  Shotoku-Taishi built a temple for his master, which was the origin of the Kakurinji Temple.  The esoteric philosophical narrative of this sculpture is not typical of okimono made for export and was likely specifically commissioned for a patron to whom it would hold significance.  Signed: Shomin in a red lacquer tablet. 

Measuring 2 ½” high by 1” wide by 1 ¼” deep.

 
         
         
 
 

7. A delightfully humorous study of Daruma (Bodhi Dharma, the founder of Zen) in three stages of emerging from his legendary nine years of meditation. The Japanese have always enjoyed a sense of humor that allows even the most deified, to be yet, only human. Daruma screams from the achy sensations of his long dormant body as he begins to stretch his arms and legs. Lacquered wood, inlaid ivory, mother of pearl and umimatsu. Japan, Taisho Period (1912-25).

Measuring 4” high by 10 ½” wide by 4 ¼” deep, including custom stand.

 
         
         
 
 

8. An antique Japanese ivory okimono depicting a study of a private moment in the life of a Bijin (beauty), as she kneels on a mat wearing an elegant kimono. In her right hand she holds an open book, where with rapt attention and a knowing smile, she reads of the romantic exploits of Prince Genji. In her left hand she holds a long, narrow pipe, her smoking hibachi and tea tray are at her side. Behind her, with his elbow pressing into her shoulder, is the family masseur. Therapeutic massage was a very honorable occupation of the blind. This blind masseur is respectfully portrayed (they are often the subject of jest with bumps on their heads from running into things). His intelligent, compassionate face appears intent on his practice, unaware of the charms of his patient. Lustrous patina and fine details. Signed Homin. Circa 1880.

Measuring 3” high.

 
         
         
 
 

9. An antique Japanese tall ivory covered box carved in deep three dimensional relief with a dynamic narrative of the Shinto Storm Gods Raiden and Fugen. They are depicted wreaking havoc among the clouds, having excited the rage of Tengu - the taloned half bird, half man who is the mythic manifestation of a master of martial arts. Raiden and Fugen are perceived as mischievous demons who take delight in raining on traditional outdoor festivities. The artist’s skill is extraordinary both in composition and fine detail. With each turn of this work of art, lifelike movement and animated expressions are revealed. The sculpted knop on the lid is in the form of a winged bat. Signed Shingyoku in seal style characters. Meiji Period.

Measuring 8 ½” high.

 
         
         
 
 

10. An extraordinary antique Japanese covered ivory box carved in the round with a high relief narrative depicting a group of very mischievous anthropomorphic frogs cavorting around a fisherman’s basket as they appear to be tickling each other and harassing the great Namazu (earthquake fish). It is Japan’s ancient mythological legend that the Namazu sleeps beneath the islands of Japan, and when provoked causes the island nation’s earthquakes. The lid of the box is a marvelous gathering of shells with an organic knop of a cluster of molluscs. Circa 1880.

Measuring 4 ¼” high.