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11. An antique Japanese miniature ivory sculpture of Benten with the kindly expression befitting the Shinto goddess of compassion and protector of musicians. She walks on celestial clouds, accompanied by a sparrow alight with song and holding a musical instrument, the traditional koto. A composition of grace and movement accented by celestial scarves and flowing robes. Signed Mitsutake. Circa 1900.

Measuring 2 ⅜” high.

 

         
         
 
 

12. An antique Chinese iconic sculpture of a Taoist Immortal with a gentle benevolent countenance. She stands wearing diaphanous robes, holding the 'Sword of Wisdom' that cuts through ignorance and removes obstacles to everlasting happiness. The sword hilt is carved with a 'Tao Tie' (guardian mask) and tassel to ward off evil. In her left hand one sees a gift being offered on a rising plume of celestial vapors from which emerges a pair of double swords. China, circa 1890.

Measuring 11 ½” high, including custom reticulated rosewood pedestal.

 
         
         
 
 

13. An exquisite antique Japanese ivory sculpture of mating sparrows and peony blossom. This extraordinary composition is carved from a single piece of ivory and has all the sense of life and motion of a fluttering moment of birds in midair. Every feather has been finely delineated and the blossom is as delicate as if the petals were real. Circa 1900. 

Measuring 3 ¼” length.

 
         
         
 
 

14. A charming antique Japanese ivory study of a wedding couple each with a sweet expression as they stand prepared to take their vows. They are wearing the traditional formal kimono
befitting this auspicious occasion. Circa 1930.

Measuring 5 ¼” high, including custom stand.

 
         
         
 
 

15. A crazy group of comedians, this remarkable rendering of the classic ‘Sambiki Saru’, the three monkeys of ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil’, have all the character of a Marx Brothers performance. Detailed with the finest hairwork and subtle nuance of body language, this unique series of miniature sculptures are one of the finest examples of the subject matter. Eyes double inlaid. Signed Ryo Isu To. Circa 1890. 

Relative scale, Speak No Evil – 3” high.

 
         
         
 
 

16. An antique Japanese boxwood okimono of the founder and patriarch of Zen Buddhism – Bodhi Dharma, popularly known as Daruma to the Japanese people. A powerful and imposing figure, resolute of purpose, he stands holding a hossu wearing his monk’s mantle that blows in the wind as he crosses the Yangtze River on an array of reeds. Signed Hōkyū-dō Masayoshi-tō (carved by Masayoshi, Hōkyū-dō). Chomei Masayoshi (1802-1848) was born in Takada, Echigo province (modern Niigata prefecture), northern Japan and his given name was Yaokichi Ishikura. From an early age Masayoshi excelled at carving many types of objects including netsuke and was particularly well known for his carvings of Shishi.

Measuring 8 ¼” high.

 
         
         
 
 

17. A remarkable study of a master craftsman in the process of creating a mask of the terrifying female demon Hannya from the famous Noh drama of ‘Dojoji’. The artist has captured in this okimono the peace and satisfaction of the carver who is wholly focused on his work. The contrast of his benevolent countenance with that of his fierce subject creates a most engaging experience for the viewer of this work of art. Finely detailed with lifelike gestures. Signed Muneyuki. Tokyo School. 

Measuring 3” high. 

 
         
         
 
 

18. A highly amusing antique Japanese sculptural study of four monkeys mischief-making in a Zen temple. A sanctuary of peace and serenity is being subjected to their playful antics as they sound the meditation mokugyo, or traditional gongs in their merriment. The artist has given sentience to the double dragon head of the larger gong, their expression certainly alert to all the commotion. A unique composition with details of finely engraved hairwork to the simian beasts and the horsetail hossu (meditation whisk). Inlaid eyes. Signed Hiroshi with kakihan. Meiji period.

Measuring 3” high by 3 ½” wide by 3 ¼” deep.

 
         
         
 
 

19. A unique antique Japanese sculptural study of the three Shinto gods Daikoku, Jurojin and Fukurokuju. Daikoku personifies wealth and prosperity with his rather full figure and merchant’s cap. Jurojin, a deity of wisdom with Taoist origins wears a scholar’s cap and curiously holds his friend Daikoku’s mallet. Fukurokuju, whose elongated head symbolizes wisdom is holding a scroll, and he is also associated as a deity of happiness and longevity. All three figures appear to be speaking with smiling countenance, as if bestowing the graces of their gifts. This remarkable okimono has been masterfully executed in ivory, boxwood and cherry wood with details of gold lacquer and umimatsu. Signed Hoshu. Circa 1880.

Measuring 5 ¼” high by 5” wide by 3 ½” deep.