Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art
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All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1145959
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A Japanese lacquer bowed top box with portrait of a Kabuki actor - presumably named in gold lacquer and the role of Daihachi named in a lustrous iron color. All slightly raised work, the portrait is in gray, black, red, flesh tone, browns and gold. Lines including pattern and folds in the figure's attire and hair in his coiffure and sideburns cleanly defined with raised work. Metal along the facing edges of the top and bottom have no doubt contributed nicely to the preservation of the box. Actor portraits being not uncommon in woodblock prints, we have only found one example in lacquer - an important inro sold by Bonhams in May 2011. The present box is not signed and does not enjoy the colorful provenance of the Bonhams' inro. The condition of this box is fair with small losses on corners and edges (see our illustrations), light surface wear and need of a cleaning. The top has a very slight warp mostly along the length so that the facing metal edges do not rest entirely flush on one side (otherwise would not be noticed and probably not surprising with a little shrinkage over time.) There is no wrinkling, no blisters, no peeling at all to the lacquer (solid work.) This should touch up and clean up nicely in the hands of a qualified lacquer conservationist. It was difficult to capture the raised work in our photographs. Our last enlargements are taken close and under direct halogen light at angles that distort the composition and exaggerate wear but which highlight the raised work. Length, 6 inches (15.24 cm), Width 3 3/8 inches (8.57 cm), Height 1 1/2 inches (3.81 cm). Late Meiji, possibly early Taisho.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Inlay Work : Pre 1950 item #1144622
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A mid to early 20th century Vietnamese chess set. Vietnam was known for accomplished mother of pearl inlay work as found in the accomplished inlay work on this black lacquer board folding to form a case. Every other square is mother of pearl with fine inlaid decoration of the same material and with incised details. The complete set of 32 French Regence style pieces of turned and carved light and dark colored horn. The French influence follows from that country's half century of occupation of the region from the "Open Door Policy" era through the mid 20th century - becoming an integral part of Vietnamese culture even until today with adopted vocabularly, culture and cuisine. Comparison with more recent exports from Vietnam will bear out the differences in quality from this era - particularly in the inlay work. Good condition with only minor wear from use and one minute point of loss to the black lacquer (easily filled with a black enamel such as nail polish.) The board, opened, is about 15 inches square. The Kings are about 2 3/4 inches high. The board cleaned up a bit after we photographed it. As we often do in auction format, we are starting this well below our fair market retail asking price and without reserve.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1800 item #1136818
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Two good Arita blue and white mamezara. One rare mokko-gata form with Namban decoration of a foreigner in landscape falconing and with a hunting dog in a square reserve enclosed within a band of reversed out (or negative) decoration of white cranes and clouds on a blue background, the verso with a narrow band of cloud decoration also on a blue background and with faint celadon pooling along the foot rim (fair to good condition but two small chips inside the foot rim and a small glaze abrasion just above the foot rim) about 3 15/16 inches (10 cm) square. The other Kraak style with chocolate glazed foliate rim and liberally applied cobalt blue decorated eight panels with bird and flower alternating with lotus motif surrounding a similarly decorated central roundel, the verso also with 8 flower decorated panels around the foot centering a spurious Chenghua mark (good condition with a little kiln grit inside the foot) about 4 inches (10.15 cm) diameter. Some Kakiemon production (also with chocolate brown rim and clean white body and glaze) copied the Kraak style.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1136660
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Two small Japanese porcelain dishes used for small side servings or morsels - both decorated with blue underglaze and polychrome overglaze enamels. One with asymmetric floral decoration and gilt foliate rim and spurious Chenghua mark inside the foot. The other octagonal with dragon decoration in the cavetto surrounded by flowering karakusa enclosed within alternating red and blue panels and the verso with geometric patterns. Both about 4 inches (10.16 cm) in diameter and almost 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height. Good condition.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Tea Articles : Pre 1980 item #1135910
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Two Japanese pottery yunomi. One cylindrical with a warm terra cotta colored glaze with white dripping on a coarse, light buff body burnt to an earthy orange where the bottom meets the glaze - the ring foot notched beside an impressed, three character artist's mark. Height 3 3/16 inches (8.1 cm), Diameter 2 3/8 inches (6.03 cm). The other with slightly curved sides and a rich, mottled iron glaze with a white to caramel dripping from the rim as if overflowing from the mottled white glazed interior - raised on a ring foot without glaze on the foot rim and centering two gold lacquered characters flanking a small impressed artist's seal in circular cartouche. Height 3 7/16 inches (8.73 cm), Diameter 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm). We recently blogged about a cloisonne pendant possibly being the longest held item in our collection. These two cups are, actually, the longest held items in our possession and purchased from the same source - antiques dealer Evan Wolf - in the mid 1980s.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Tea Articles : Pre 1920 item #1135879
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A Nezumi Shino covered box or jar. Probably a mukozuke (but for which we are not familiar with examples accompanied by a cover.) White slip inlaid into incised decoration under the warm, gray glaze - conspicuous on the cover but not so much in decoration on the sides of the box where contrast does not succeed as well. A pleasant "swipe" of white slip under the cover provides a bit of a "surprise". The interior of the jar coarsely textured and with a similar, large and broad swipe of white slip from the bottom and diagonally up across three sides. The red body exposed on the foot ridged with three swipes of a potter's knife and an impressed artist's seal along the edge - partially covered by the glaze. Good condition. About 3 3/4 inches square (9.525 cm) and about the same height to the finial handle.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Earthenware : Pre 1930 item #1135507
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A small, decorative Satsuma dish. Figures in Spring landscape. One of the five lakes vicinity Mt. Fuji. Flowers, wisteria, torii gate and structures. Anonymous. Good condition. Diameter 6 1/8 inches (15.55 cm)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1980 item #1135074
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Japanese pottery tsubo vase. An earthy, drab gray-green glaze on porcelaneous body with thin iron wash and with bold, rich red iron oxide glaze painted floral decoration on opposing sides of the tsubo form with thickly potted shoulder rising to a broad, everted rim. Two character impressed artist's mark inside the foot appears to read Kazan ('Ka' being the 10 stroke character also read as "hana".) A pleasant, substantial feel when held. Excellent condition. Height, 9 3/4 inches (24.76 cm)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1980 item #1134695
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An interesting modern, abstract koro. The compressed sphere with elliptical, off centered opening. A warm, brown temmoku glaze with darker brown glaze dripping from the top and stopping in controlled fashion above a well - continuing to form the unglazed foot in ogee fashion. An artist seal (three or four stylized Kanji characters within an oval) is impressed into the concave base near the foot rim. Very good condition. Some burnt on kiln residue on the foot goes to 'wabi'. A couple small chips off the foot (revealing a flint colored body beneath the brown hagi-like surface) go to 'sabi'. About 4 3/4 inches (12.1 cm) diameter. About 2 3/8 inches (6.03cm) high.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1700 item #1133096
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A fine and early museum quality complete set of five Ko-Imari, Kakiemon style cups or choko. Blue underglaze and green, red, aubergine, yellow and black overglaze enamel decoration of peonies and prunus blossoms in garden landscape with rockery and fence. Traces of rubbed gilt enameled highlights. The choko form saw many uses such as teabowls (also seen in early European ceramics after Japanese examples of the period), large sake cups, and mukozuke. We estimate from the delicate but sure potting, the free hand but care of painted decoration, and color of enamels that these cups are Genroku era - late 17th to early 18th century. Each with blue underglaze spurious six character Chenghua mark in single blue circle inside a narrow ring foot. Very good condition considering age and use with expected light scratching to surfaces from use over the centuries and minor imperfections as would be expected from the period. One with an attractive, old gold lacquer filled stable line from the rim - that bowl also rendering a pleasant resonance when lightly tapped. Diameters are not perfect circles but longest length of each is nearly 4 inches diameter (about 10.15 cm). Height (and foot diameters) similarly varies near 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm). We acquired this set with an old, labeled tomobako in which we continue to store the cups. The label reads "Ko-Imari choko go kyaku, inokuchi" (the last term, inokuchi, referring to the possible use of this five piece set as sake choko.) The box (missing its top) apparently having started its life with the cups, it is understood that the cups are earlier.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Tea Articles : Pre 1900 item #1127805
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An unusual Japanese hexagonal vessel with molded panel decoration of prunus and peonies above and decorative symbols (takara mono coins and gourd of Li Tieguai) below. Shoulder rising in convex fashion to the ring rim. Feet formed at the corners simply by scraping away clay from the straight edges of the base before glazing and firing. From the size and rim diameter, we believe it was intended as a mizuzashi. Capacity is better suited for water storage and a bit much for a flower vase (either being found in a tea house.) The brown body reminds of Bizen pottery and with a thin brown glaze. We have seen listed on Trocadero in the past a similar, ivory-yellow glazed (on ivory colored biscuit) four sided tokkuri with molded panel decoration of mythical figures in landscapes (item 776538 in Trocadero Archives.) Like this other example, the present mizuzashi can be said to have relatively thinly potted sides and bottom and slightly more stout from the shoulder to rim but still a significant hoist at nearly 4lbs (1.772 kg exactly). Looking at Bizen examples in the Morse Collection reference, case 5, can be found an octagonal Bizen water jar (fig 380 without decoration), an unusually shaped tokkuri (fig 482 with molded panel decoration), and a larger apparently hexagonal Imbe tokkuri (fig 438 with molded panel decoration.) We have held this vessel close since acquiring it in the mid 90s. Condition is good. A few small pits in the glaze going to 'sabi'. Going to 'wabi' is imperfect geometry, four spots along the rim left from stacking or resting in the kiln, and some unglazed areas with a little burned-on residue on the sides (and bottom.) What more could one ask for if seeking a good mizuzashi that is not representative of later gingerbread. 8 3/8 inches (21.27 cm) high. Width point to point is 8 inches (20.32 cm). Width flat side to flat side is 7 inches (17.78 cm). Rim diameter 4 1/4 inches (10.79 cm). Aperture diameter 3 1/2 inches (8.89cm).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1125074
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An unusual and rare Chinese export blue and white porcelain candle holder. In simple, traditional Western form probably for the export market but bearing traditional Chinese motif of figures in garden landscape with precious objects and burning incense. The crackle surface with cobalt blue decoration under the glaze. The center with figures with antique treasures in garden. The bobeche with bamboo and blossoms. The foot with flowering branches. The center portion is bordered above and below with manganese "mirror black" glazed relief double rings (the lower border on the biscuit) suggesting the appearance of tarnished silver or metal ferrules. The unglazed, angular foot rim carefully shaped before firing and the glaze well controlled with slight crawl. Most interesting, the "mirror black" glazed rings fade to a soft grey-blue rather than to an iron tone. This indicates manganese mixed with cobalt as was done with 18th century Kangxi works (the 19th century mixing manganese with iron to achieve a similar effect.) We are not saying this recent acquisition is necessarily that old. It may be that it was expedient to use the cobalt already available for the under glaze decoration and it does not appear as controlled as might be expected. Then again, it is an export form. A beautiful piece in pristine condition. A slight list is not very noticeable when not framed within a picture. We will not charge extra for melted wax accumulated in the hollow core. We are broadly estimating age as 19th century. A pleasing hoist at 1 lb and 8.4 oz (692 grams). Height, about 8 inches (20.32 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1837 VR item #1113823
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A fine Japanese blue and white porcelain soba choko with decoration of prunus blossoms on branches rising above an active with breaking waves all over a comb pattern on double blue lines above the foot. A fret band decoration appears inside the foliate shaped rim and a flower head within double blue ring adorns the bottom inside. The clear glaze pools to a lovely pale celadon tone above the prunus and sea decoration and in a glazed recess centered inside the glazed foot ring and broad unglazed band. Uniquely Japanese design elements successfully portray the ephemeral qualities of sakura blossoms against the foil of a rythmic, eroding sea. Appreciating the moment. Good condition: A couple small points of distress on the foot rim appearing to be quite stable and possibly dating to the moment of firing. Early 19th to late 18th century. Height 2 5/8 inches (6.67cm). Diameter 3 1/2 to 3 5/8 inches (8.89 to 9.2 cm)
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1837 VR item #1113815
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An attractive Japanese blue and white porcelain soba choko with banana leaf, fence and chidori in mist decoration supported by single blue line all over double blue line. The inside rim with blue and white fret band and the bottom inside with a single flower within double blue line. The glazed foot ring surrounding a wide, unglazed band centering a recessed, glazed center. The white glaze very slightly blue tinged. The decoration exhibits some of those peculiarly Japanese qualities we have also come to very much appreciate in tsuba. Good condition. Early 19th to late 18th century. Height 2 1/2 inches (6.35cm). Diameter 3 3/8 to 3 1/2 inches (8.57 to 8.89 cm)
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Earthenware : Pre 1940 item #1113714
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A whimsical khaki green-yellow glazed Japanese pottery figural sake pot depicting a tanuki trying to make off with a proportionately larger sake barrel. Early 20th century to turn of that century. Good condition. Height 3 1/2 inches (8.89cm). About 4 1/2 inches (11.4cm) length from tanuki's nose.
All Items : Antiques : Furnishings : Furniture : American : Victorian : Pre 1900 item #1112241
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A fine 19th century classical rosewood canterbury. The four compartments separated by three rail and stile partitions with handle, enclosed by openwork lyre sides and turned corner posts with finials, all over two drawer case raised on turned feet. Wonderfully appropriate for a period music room. The two drawers likely cost the patron a pretty penny in the period and are not commonly encountered. Secondary woods (exhibiting only hand rendered kerf marks) include red cedar and chamfered poplar for the drawers, and red cedar and knotty pine for the case. Note the darker oxidation (as expected) on the exposed lower drawer bottom. Probably American, inspired by Regency design. Compare with Neal's 2005 Winter Estates Auction lot 261 which lacked case and drawers. Very good condition save some rosewood veneer loss on one side lyre (see third enlargement - a minor consideration easily restored - we will not.) This will ship oversized or by special delivery service at buyer's expense. Length 20 1/2 inches (52cm), Height 18 inches (45.7cm), Depth 14 1/2 inches (36.8cm).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Ceramics : Pre 1837 VR item #1105995
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A Vietnamese blue and white porcelain dish with decoration of four crabs among seaweed and centering a fifth crab all within a simple zigzag border. A hasty but crisp provincial rendering and perhaps late 17th to 18th century for the export market - utilizing a relatively refined cobalt. Good condition with minor firing faults. 7 1/8 inches (18.1cm) diameter.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Ceramics : Pre 1492 item #1105993
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Two Vietnamese blue and white porcelain boxes. Painterly flower, leafage and patterned decoration. Larger 2 inches (5.07cm) height, 2 7/8 inches (7.3cm) diameter. Smaller 1 5/8 inches (4.13cm) height, 2 5/8 inches (6.67cm) diameter. Both present very well. Each with a stable hairline from the rim of the pot - from a chip inside the rim of the smaller pot (not visible when covered.) The cover of the larger pot with chip on its rim - also mostly not visible when atop its pot.