Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art
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All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1338182
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A simple, four lobed armorer's tsuba with simple pierced decoration perhaps depicting a landscape with structure. The udenuki-ana (cord holes) have the effect of completing the illusion of a Sesshu-like landscape. The saotome were armorers turned tsuba makers who worked in this manner and scale. Good condition with good tekkotsu. Sengoku era. 2 15/16 (7.46 cm) inches x 2 5/8 (6.67 cm) inches
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1338169
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A katchushi mutsu-gata sukashi tsuba. The six lobed, thin plated armorer's tsuba with good tekkotsu and with openwork decoration was described by Skip Holbrook (ex collection) as Saotome made and depicting three birds. The Saotome were a line of armorers (katchu) turned tsuba makers. But I think a case could be made for the sukashi decoration being a wabi-sabi flower bloom or possibly paulownia leaves (rather than awkward looking "birds".) Use of the paulownia (kiri) mon could suggest Yamakichibei as those tsuba makers, from Owari, were outfitting swords for the Oda and the Toyotomi - the latter using the kiri ka-mon. Good condition. 2 7/8 (7.3 cm) inches x 2 13/16 (7.14 cm) inches
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1960 item #1338050
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An interesting, sharp modern Japanese murashido vase. We call this "sharp" because of the angular protrusions and recesses in the crisp lined, modernist turning. The distinct baluster form reminds us of a carver's or sculptor's mallet. Condition is good with no dents or other serious issues but with a light scratch to the patination in one small place (illustrated). Mid 20th century. Signed with two archaistic characters on the foot, by Nakajima Yasumi II (1905-86). Height, 10 inches
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1800 item #1337767
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A massive imari vase with decoration of the Genroku era of bijin (a beauty) and hana (flowers) on two opposing panels alternating with two more opposing panels of a structure (tea house?) in garden landscape - all in red, gold and black enamels with blue underglaze. Similar landscape decorated panels appear on the shoulder over a ground of hanabishi (flowery diamond) in repeating diamond bordered pattern. The hanabishi (sometimes also referred to as karabana, or 'Chinese flower') could be representative of a ka-mon (family crest). The prominent Takeda family and its branches used the hanabishi ka-mon onward after the Heian period. The Genroku era spanned from 1688 to 1704. The arts and luxuries reached their apex during this era of the Edo period - contributing to large, opulent expressions such as the present vase. Genroku style and influence continued for a short time after (as could this vase) while the Tokugawa Shogunate struggled with inflation after devaluing coin quality in an attempt to sustain the appearance of prosperity (sound familiar?) So in some ways the Tokugawa followed in the footsteps of the decadent Ashikaga. Good, stable condition save an old crack through the foot rim which might originate with the firing as a crazing pattern conforms along and around the crack as if from excessive heat (limited to inside the foot and the lower portion of one bijin panel.) Vase height (not including cover) is 15 7/8 inches (40.32 cm)

This vase is accompanied by a Chinese, late Qing dynasty, exquisitely carved hardwood cover. The fit is loose and the cover a bit small proportionately. As they did not start life together, we are amenable to selling the cover separately should someone have a need. The cover would best fit a large vase with interior rim diameter of no smaller than 4 9/16" (11.58 cm). The cover is 7 5/16" (18.57 cm) with the wood grain (there is substantial shrinkage of the wood against the grain with age.) The cover is in presentable condition with some glue evidence on the interior - probably from refitting after shrinkage.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1837 VR item #1337646
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This is one of the more intriguing lacquer objects we have owned. Adorned with maki-e Aoe (hollyhock) Ka-mon on nashiji ground (also known as the Kamo Aoi as it was sacred to the Kamo shrine), family crest for prominent daimyo families including the Tokugawa and the Matsudaira during the Momoyama and Edo periods. Even the drawer pull is fashioned as an open worked shibuichi Aoe Ka-mon with the surprise of a textured, kinko (soft metal) raised backing only if you look for it. More interesting yet is the unusual form of this object - perhaps an only opportunity to acquire an example. Resembling a food tray on stand, it nonetheless has a drawer (not common to the form.) And a tall cover comes with a screen (silk?) as if to permit viewing whilst keeping something either in or out. We have not found another example of the form and so are not certain if it might be a covered dining tray (though the drawer) if intended to keep bugs out. Or perhaps it is in fact an insect terrarium (someone suggested it might be a large "cricket cage" or for praying mantis - maybe even to observe mantis combat) keeping the bugs in as it were. We can only speculate at the moment and heartily welcome suggestions or insight - maybe something not yet considered. The covered stand is in rather good condition for a mid Edo lacquer object. Good condition with expected testimony of age and use. There are the usual small lacquer losses mostly to edging (not at all detracting.) There is some fading - varying to the extent exposed to light (see our enlargement comparing surfaces of exterior, screened interior, drawer interior.) There is one minutely small handle stop stud missing from the screened cover. 18th to early 19th century. 13 inches (33.02 cm) high, 9 5/8 (24.45 cm) inches wide, 12 inches (30.48 cm) long.

Since listing this item, someone has suggested its holding fireflies (hotaru) as a possible use.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1333910
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An iron, Ko-Tosho (early sword smith's) tsuba. The slightest taper from seppa dai towards rim. Pierced decoration. Purchased from Andy Quirt (ex Skip Holbrook collection) at the February 2016 Tampa show, he thought it depicted gourds. I guess the beholder might see different things. I see Japanese eggplants on leafy vine (two fruit and two leaves) supported by a bamboo trellis. An uncommon and well executed, balanced decoration. The hitsu-ana appears to be original to the tsuba. Late Muromachi. Good condition - has seen some pitting in the past but now stable (chalk it up to tekkotsu, history and character - tekkotsu attractively conspicuous on the rim), well worn to the touch, and with a good, dark patina. 2 7/8" (7.3 cm) marugata. 1/8" (3.17 mm) thick at the mimi. 3/16" (4.47 mm) thick at the seppa-dai.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1333826
Spoils of Time
An armorer's iron tsuba, possibly for a wakizashi as it is somewhat diminuitive in size. Or perhaps more in keeping with its apparent age, an early example of a proportionately small tsuba used with an uchigatana as was first the fashion. Sukashi decoration of a conch (horagai) traditionally used for ritual practices and for signaling on the battlefield. The rare uchikaeshi-hineri rim (mimi) is significantly raised and defined almost as if to suggest a separate piece of iron around the rim (though it is one with the plate.) Though the small sukashi might suggest tosho (swordsmith), the distinct and high rim clearly indicates ko-katchushi (old armorers) work. Good condition with tekkotsu, dark patina and some inert, brown surface rust for which we are lightly applying oil when dry (we prefer not to overclean or dry out a tsuba so will not take some of the more invasive measures against only light rust.) This tsuba has an early feel - perhaps early Muromachi. 2 3/4" (7 cm) marugata. The thickness of the plate is about 1/8" (.32 cm). The thickness at the rim is about 1/4" (.63 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1333823
Spoils of Time
A katchushi (or armorer's) tsuba, probably Myochin, with pierced decoration of ship's rudders (the significance being a comparison of rudders steering a ship to values guiding a Samurai's life choices.) The strong, homogenous, dense iron plate with only light tekkotsu and smooth to the touch. Dark patina. Momoyama to early Edo. Good condition: Lamination folds with openings evident on the surface of one side. Ex Skip Holbrook collection. 3 3/32" x 3 1/16" x 1/8" (7.8 cm x 7.7 cm x .32 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1700 item #1333535
Spoils of Time
An armorer's tsuba, with very slightly raised rim on the strong, flat iron plate. Pierced decoration of a shrimp with pleasing, subtle swell along the antennae and legs (mostly on the ura.) Small, irregular brass inlays for the eyes (missing from one eye - not conspicuous.) The kogai-ana plugged with a copper rich alloy. Oval form about 2 7/8" (7.3 cm) by 2 3/4" (6.985 cm). Thickness at rim about 5/32" (.39 cm). Late 16th century to early 17th century - perhaps Momoyama period. Or possibly earlier with hitsu-ana added (though old). Good condition with varieagated hues in the dark, lustrous patina likely with extant lacquer adhering and accounting for some of the black color (note that the tsuba has an overall dark, mottled patina which our lighting doesn't adequately portray). Subtle tekkotsu evident - some old, worn pitting with the surface now smooth, almost soapy to the touch.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Earthenware : Pre 1930 item #1328662
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A set of five, understated Kyoto-Satsuma earthenware dishes. Each with decoration of five, 16 petal chrysanthemums - two softly sketched in gosu underglaze blue and three sharply sketched in black under the glaze. The backs undecorated. The 16 petal chrysanthemum mon has traditionally been reserved for imperial use and could appear on objects given as official gifts. Each seal impressed on the back (looks like it might be "Sozan" [not Sua's but a different character for "So"].) Appears to be early 20th century. Five would be the standard traditional set size in Japan. All in very good condition. Each diameter about 6 1/16 inch to 6 1/8 inch (about 15.5 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1328475
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A good, Japanese iroe imari dish of square form with garden landscape decoration in red, green, yellow, aubergine, black and gold enamel and underglaze blue. The center panel decorated with pines, plantains and maples among rockery and below stylized clouds. The rockery employing "master of the rocks" technique of consecutive contour lines - the stylized clouds echoing the technique. Good condition. 7 to 7 1/8 inches square. About 8 1/4 inches from corner to corner. 19th century. (Five like this available: one each may be acquired at the offer price, up to five.)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1328473
Spoils of Time
One Japanese blue and white porcelain dish. Shonsui style decoration in roundels of birds in branches with berries and of peonies, all centered by geometric decoration along the inside of the foliate rim. The back with similar decoration of roudels, blue and white band decoration above the foot rim centering a four character mark within a blue ring. Good condition. Diameter, 7 1/2 inches. Ca 1900/early 20th century. (Seven like this available: one each may be acquired at the offer price price, up to seven.)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1328470
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On Hold
One Japanese porcelain mamezara (bean, or appetizer, dish.) Fine blue and white decoration of a landscape on one panel and particularly fine shades of blue decoration of a flowering prunus branch on another. Karakusa decoration on the back. Spurious Ming Chenghua mark inside the foot rim. Good condition. Length, about 6 inches. Ca 1900/Early 20th century. (Two like this available: One each may be acquired at the offer price, up to two.)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1328468
Spoils of Time
all sold, post Vervendi auction
One Finely formed and decorated Japanese blue and white porcelain dish. The deep, foliate rim fired to chocolate brown along the edge is suggestive of kakiemon influence. Decoration of figure seated in royal ease pose, perhaps Kannon, in rich foliate garden setting centered by repetitive characters (perhaps suggestive of sutra or chants) inside the deep rim. The Buddhist motif is unusual. Spurious Ming Chenghua mark. Good condition. Diameter, 7 5/8 inches. Ca 1900/early 20th century. (Five like this available: Winning bidder may acquire one each at the winning bid price, up to five.)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1900 item #1319518
Spoils of Time
A handsome pair of horse form menuki. Gold overlay on worked brass or alloy surface. (These would be quite a nice match with another of our listings - a kozuka, item #1318917 - and together would dress up a sword nicely). Very good condition (solder evidence on back as they were previously affixed to a cha-donsu.) Length, 1 3/16 (3.02 cm) and 1 1/4 inches (3.18 cm) respectively.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1900 item #1319508
Spoils of Time
A pair of Niō or Kongōrikishi figural menuki. The copper-bronze alloy with traces of black patina suggesting possibly rubbed shakudo (meaning the alloy may have a low gold content which composition would take a blue-black patination.) Gold details decoration of attire. While a pair of Kongōrikishi would typically form Ah-um ("Ah", mouth opened and "Um", mouth closed), this is not easily discerned with the present pair which also strike the same (rather than opposed) posture. It may be that this wasn't deemed important when each would be wrapped on a different side of a tsuka. Or these may be a very well matched menuki from different pairs (there are slight differences.) In any event, they would work very well together on a tsuka. Good condition. Solder evidence on back as they were affixed to a cha-donsu. Each length, 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Furnishings : Furniture : American : Federal : Pre 1837 VR item #1319397
Spoils of Time
Jerome's & Darrow Federal manner hand made shelf clock with wood works, Bristol CT. Provenance, Martin VanBuren Back, 1835-1920 (may already have been in the family for a generation.) We purchased from his direct descendant, David N. Back in the 1990s. We had the clock last serviced in 2006 and in good running order with reliable chimes. Having invested in preservation, our gain will have been our enjoyment of the clock. 2nd quarter, 19th century. Good condition. Height, about 34 3/4 inches. We will defer to a professional shipper for such an item - cost to be arranged between buyer and shipper.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Swords and Related : Pre 1837 VR item #1319339
Spoils of Time
Pair of Kinko (soft metal, as distinguished from iron) menuki. The soft metal copper alloy with dark patination (perhaps shakudo) depicting a pair of shishi or dogs (these are more dog like than most shishi I've seen, which are often thought to be lions.) The dogs with hair defined with fine incising. Decoration in gold including spots and pupils on the dogs, the collars each with a bell, and sprays of flowers. One of the menuki appears to have a miniature gold self-righting figure of Daruma (an 'okiagari koboshi' toy) on its back along with the flower spray. Appear to be earlier Edo. Very good condition. They were "saved" from a Cha-donsu studded with good, old menuki. So we suppose you could call these dogs "rescues" :) There is solder evidence on the back but that is never accessible when mounted on a tsuka. (These would be a good match with another of our listings - a kozuka, item #1318102.) Length, 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inches (2.86 to 3.17 cm)