Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art

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Mingei Kiseruzutsu. Snake & Frog Decor, Compass, Kiseru

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1900: Item # 1190809
Spoils of Time
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Frederick, MD 21701

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 Sold in Vervendi auction 
An impressive, Mingei carved wood kiseruzutsu (a pipe case or holder worn similarly as a sashi netsuke) with snake and frog decoration - quite appropriate for the 'year of the snake' and a tiny compass with inlaid into one corner. Depicted are a snake coiled around a weathered log apparently in ready ambush for a frog perched on the other end - both with pierced bone or stag antler inlaid eyes. A stag horn decorative embellishment also inlaid into the log (possibly suggesting a bone remaining from the snake's earlier meal?) All wonderfully carved and detailed with naturally rubbed high points, wonderfully rich patina and smooth, pleasant feel in the hand. This piece really should be signed but understandably stands among other anonymous marvels in the Mingei tradition. The accompanying kiseru with metal ends on bamboo shaft with chiseled decoration in the Sumi tradition of moon over pine and rockery - the bowl end with a very small impressed two kanji character mark and the mouthpiece end with the same sized three kanji character mark (probably together forming a five character maker's mark and requiring a jeweler's loop to read.) Condition all very good; a small old, smooth worn chip on the kiseruzutsu where the kiseru bowl fits securely; light checking to the wood where the compass is inlaid and across one leg of the frog. Minute traces of a white cleaning residue. Kiseruzutsu length, 8 inches (20.32 cm). Kiseru length, 7 15/16 inches (20.16 cm). Length with pipe inserted to kiseruzutsu, 8 5/16 inches (21.11 cm)