Antique Japanese ceramic figure of the moon faced Otafuku. Her name was once Uzume and evolved into Okame which means "tortoise", a symbol of longevity. Otafuku or Okame is considered the goddess of mirth, a cheerful woman who's name means "abundant good fortune". A bringer of victory and success, she is good-natured, good-humored, good-hearted, generous, kind, serene, and patient. She is smart, strong-willed and competent as well as powerful enough to easily frighten away evil spirits.... Click for details
Antique Japanese tsuba (hand guard for samurai katana) decorated with a monkey peeking though the bamboo rails of a cage or gate. Often occurring in Japanese folk tales, the monkey generally symbolizes a trickster. Since tsuba were often a warrior's source of personal expression, it is likely this monkey held specific significance to the blade's owner.
Age: Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Dimensions: 3" high x 2 7/8" wide x 1/8" thick (1/4" thick including monkey).
Antique Japanese lacquer box for incense. Decorated with scenes of flying geese over gently swirling water and marsh grasses in maki-e lacquer on a black lacquer ground. On the reverse side, pheasants and chicks peck among flowers. The interior of the box is fitted with a separate tray decorated with seven children playing with three dogs in maki-e and color lacquer on a black ground. The tray stands on 4 small feet and the sides are decorated with tiny scrolling vines and butterflies. The... Click for details
Antique Japanese lacquer box with a rooster and hen in gold maki-e lacquer with colorful details. The bodies of the birds are raised and rounded. Each feather is carefully treated. Tiny squares of sheet gold are pressed into the black and gold lacquered ground. The interior of the box is covered in nashiji. The underside of the lid has a flowers and grasses in maki-e on a nashiji ground.
Age: Edo Period
Dimensions: 7 3/4" long x 5 1/4" wide x 1 1/16" deep
Antique Japanese bronze vase molded with a pair of phoenixes in flight. Signed on the bottom. Also called hou-ou, the pair of mythical birds together are often symbols of fidelity but also represent fire, sun and justice. When used in reference to the imperial household, the phoenix represents the empress.
Antique Japanese screen painting in 6 panels. Painted to resemble a samurai encampment space divider. The simple graphics of the curtain-like camp divider are painted in black and white and displays the kamon (crest) of the Takiyama Family. Narrow slits between the white and black sections of cloth were for the wind to pass through, preventing the curtain from becoming a sail. Thick striped rope securely ties the curtain to tall stakes in the ground. This screen was intended to be used... Click for details
An incredible original and rare 16th Century Gagaku Karasu Tengu ritual mask dating from the Muromachi period in Japan. Hand carved out of a single piece of Kirinoki (Paulownia) wood. Finished in its original black lacquer, the extremely old reddish pigment is still visible. Well carved with nice detailing, the Karasu (crow bird) is depicted with a round food offering in its beak. The scalp shows holes where there were originally long hair strands that have since worn away due to the age of... Click for details
Pair of Japanese 6-panel screen paintings. Painted with a continuous scene of a rural landscape. Mountain pavilions sit atop high peaks reached by winding trails. Across an expanse of calm water stretches a long, low foot bridge occasionally interrupted by a sudden archway. Boats and tiny figures go about their business. Painted in sumi ink and with gold leaf on paper.
Age: Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Dimensions of each painting: 67 1/2" high x 142 1/2" long
Japanese antique water pump used by a brigade of firemen to put out fires.
From the writing, the pump was used in December, Meiji 7 (1874). Other writing states "Edo", most likely referring that the fire company was operating during the Edo Period and/or in the city of Edo, Japan. A 3 character mark says 雲龍水 unryūsui ("cloud-dragon-water", the name for this type of pump). Below this is another group of characters: the top 3 read right to left 細工所 saikōsho or... Click for details
Japanese small kesa, Buddhist priest's vestment cloth to be worn over robes. Often described as a mantel or robe, the kesa is worn draped diagonally over the left shoulder and under the right armpit. Meant as a reminder of the Buddha's own simple patched garment, kesa are formed from fragments of cloth donated to the temple by wealthy devotees. Within each garment, the fragments are typically organized in a series of columns framed by a border with miters corners. The number of columns, in this... Click for details