The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures
Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1478869
The Kura
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A yobitsugi Jar made up of various excavated kiln shards of central Japan dating from the Heian period (794–1185). It is roughly 32 cm diameter, the same height. Looking at the volume of debris and encrustations, it is likely that the upper most part of this tsubo, which is one piece, was buried in a kiln collapse, earth and stone fusing to the molten ash. During the Heian period, hole kilns were dug into hillsides, with a chimney bored down into the back. Sometimes during firing, or after repeated use, the earth above would weaken and collapse upon the contents, burying all. Unusable, the site would be abandoned and another hole kiln dug alongside or at the next available site, leaving the shattered contents to be excavated a millennia later. Assembling these parts into Wabi-sabi jars or bowls became popular from the mid Edo period in a style known as Yobitsugi (literally called together and attached). To the contemporary viewer it is an example of the simple beauty of random effects produced by a wood-fired kiln as well as a unique view into the Japanese mindset of serenity found in the accidental and ephemeral.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Dolls : Pre 1980 item #1492678 (stock #K087)
The Kura
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Two dramatic Bunraku Puppet Kashira (heads) from the Awaji puppet carving tradition. The male is Kumagai Naozane, a character from the Heikei Monogatari present at the Battle of Ichinotani made by Ryuun. The female figure is Yaegakehime from the play Honcho Nijushi ko. They are both roughly 20 cm (8 inches) tall from the neck, 40 cm (16 inches) tall as they are seen on their stands respectively and are in excellent condition. They are fully functional, both nod up and down, and can open and or close their eyes by toggles on the neck, and his eyebrows move up and down.
Kumagai Naozane was a famous soldier who served the Genji (Minamoto) clan during the Heian period of Japanese history. Kumagai is particularly known for his exploits during the Genpei War, specifically for killing the young warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-tani in 1184.
The princess is the heroine of a five-act drama named the 24 models of filial piety (Honcho Nijushi Ko). This historical drama was first performed in 1766.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1930 item #1474709
The Kura
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Additional photos of this fabulous Accordion book of 12 paintings by Kimura Seiun enclosed in a wooden box titled Atami Dan Ko-gasatsu and dated early Spring of Showa 4 (1929). The introductory page is written by Zen priest Hashimoto Dokuzan of Tenryuji Temple in Kyoto. The paintings are each signed with various names used by Kimura, mostly Seiun or Ren. The introductory and concluding pages are both dated 1929. It is 28 x 14 cm (5-1/2 x 11 inches) and in overall outstanding condition.
Atami is a place in Japan on the Izu peninsula South of Tokyo in Shizuoka prefecture.
  Kimura Seiun (1885-1967) was born in Shimane prefecture, home of one of the oldest and most venerated shrines in Japan, Izumo Taisha Shrine. His given name was Hara Renzaburo however he was adopted into the Kimura family taking that name. In 1921 he moved to Kyoto where he studied painting under Miyazaki Chikuso, and them to Tokyo where he studied under Komura Suiun. Post war he returned to Shimane, devoting himself to painting and private exhibitions, leading the quiet life of a scholar.
Hashimoto Dokuzan (Gengi, 1869-1938) was born in Nîigata, and was sent to Kyoto at the age of 16 to study painting and philosophy under the important literatus Tomioka Tessai. At the age of 20 he entered Tenryuji Temple under Hashimoto Gazan, later receiving Inka (recognition of enlightenment) from Ryuen. In 1910 he moved to Sokokuji, and then was assigned the foundation of Nanonji Temple in Tottori Prefecture. He served as abbot of Tenryuji Temple and Sokokuji, both important Zen temples in Kyoto.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1475127
The Kura
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A striking soft-glazed six-sided incense burner by Maki Hokusai decorated with white flower blossoms on soft flesh colored glaze surmounted by a silver lid pierced with the character Kotobuki (Fortune) by Hata Zoroku. The pot itself is 10 cm tall, plus the sliver lid. It comes in an ancient wooden box signed by Zoroku.
Hata Zoroku I (1823-1890) learned metalwork techniques in the studio of Ryubundo in Kyoto. Hata produced works for the Imperial Household and it is known that he made the gold Imperial seal and national seal by order of the Imperial Household in 1873. He was under consideration as Artist to the Imperial Household (Teishitsu Gigeiin). He died several days before the announcement of these designations in 1890. For bronze works by Zoroku in the collection of the Imperial Household, see The Era of Meiji Bijutsu-kai and Nihon Kinko Kyokai, in Meiji bijutsu saiken I (Reappraisal of Meiji Art I) (Tokyo: Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan, 1995), pp. 40-41.
Maki Hokusai (Bunshichi, 1782-1857) established a pottery workshop in the West district of Nagoya city during the Bunka era (1804-18). Hokusai was a master at sculpture and studied painting technique under Gekkoku. He decorated with bright colors and vivid detailed landscapes. Known as a master craftsman for making tea utensils, sake utensils, ornaments, etc., he worked for the 12th lord of the Owari clan, Tokugawa Naritaka, and produced works in the Hagiyama Niwa-yaki kiln of the Feudal lord. The kiln continued for three generations, but due to the expansion of Nagoya Station, the kiln was abandoned around 1923.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1483162
The Kura
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The title does not lie, this is one against which all others might be measured. A celebratory sake set consisting of three cups and a stand enclosed in their original lacquered wooden boxes. The cups are over the top, decorated with plum pine and bamboo in taka-maki-e gold over red replete with bits of kirigane gold and ke-uchi details. The cups are equally gorgeous on top and bottom, the design extending even inside the foot ring. Roundels of the same designs are built up in gold and lacquer maki-e on the black lacquered stand, the inside of which is covered in Togidashi Nashiji. Along the edge of the stand are carefully placed bits of gold in a technique known as oki-hirame. The stand is 17 x 17 x 14.2 cm (6-3/4 x 6-3/4 x 5-1/2 inches). The cups are 9.8 cm (4 inches) 11.2 cm (4-1/2 inches) and 12.7 cm (5 inches) diameter respectively, and all are in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1492640 (stock #K053)
The Kura
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A beautifully formed earthen flask from the Bizen region, the fire-buffed side still gleaming softly while opposite it has absorbed time into the porous clay. It comes enclosed in a box titled Ko Bizen Kaijo Ko-Tokkuri, inside the lid is annotated the dimensions and the dating Momoyama Jidai no Saku (Made in the Momoyama period) signed by the great Bizen connoisseur Katsura Matasaburo. It is 6.5 cm (2-1/2 inches) diameter, 13.5 cm (5-1/4 inches) tall and in overall fine condition.
Bizen boasts a rich cultural heritage as one of the Rokkoyo (six ancient kilns), originating in Okayama Prefecture, with a history spanning over a thousand years. Its traditional wood-fired kiln process imparts unique characteristics, resulting in earthy tones, rough textures, and distinctive natural ash glazes, prized for their rustic beauty and individuality. Moreover, Bizen ware embodies the ethos of wabi-sabi, celebrating imperfections and simplicity, resonating with collectors who appreciate the aesthetic of rustic charm and natural authenticity. Its timeless elegance and connection to Japanese tea ceremony culture further enhance its allure among pottery enthusiasts, making Bizen pottery a coveted addition to any collection.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1800 item #1488614
The Kura
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An unusual Edo period Oribe serving bowl, the color filled crackled glaze decorated with scrolling lines in iron and splashes of copper green. Both inside and out hash mars denote a bamboo fence with blossoms in the fore. A handle and raised architectural elements around the rim and rising to the mouth echo some western influence, possibly indicating original Christian use. It comes resting on a silk pillow in a age-blackened wooden box titled Oribe Katakuchi. The piece measure 24.5 x 13.5 x 10 cm (10 x 5-1/4 x 4 inches) and is in overall excellent condition.
On a little historical note, a toned paper label on one side denotes the piece was once placed under hold by the Himeji Courthouse as part of a property with a lean against it, indicating the piece was considered to be of significant value even a century ago.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1469548 (stock #OC056)
The Kura
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A waka poem in underglaze blue brushed by female artist/poet Tomioka Haruko decorates this porcelain Mizusashi by female potter Suwa Sozan II enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The porcelain container is 17.5 cm (7-1/2 inches) tall, 11.5 cm (4-1/2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. On the base it bears the circular mark of Suwa Sozan II and on the side the verse is singed Haruko 80. From this we can surmise it dates from 1926 when Haruko was 80 by Japanese count.
Suwa Sozan (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others. Sozan Torako (Suwa Sozan II 1890–1977) was born in Kanazawa in 1890, and was soon adopted by her uncle, Suwa Sozan I. Her ceramics resemble those of Sozan I, but are considered to be more graceful and feminine. Torako assumed the family name upon her uncles death in 1922. She is held in the collection of the Imperial Household Agency among others.
Tomioka Haruko (1847-1940) was born as the third daughter of Sasaki Yoshimitsu, a feudal lord of Ozu. She was taken in as the third wife of Tomioka Tessai—who later became known as a leading figure in modern Japanese painting—when she was 26 years old in 1872. She was well known for her poetry, calligraphy, and sparse paintings.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1920 item #1478355
The Kura
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A sage, strikes a forever pose as he stares into the distance, robes billowing in the wind, contemplating the troubles of lesser beings, a fan clutched behind. This is a beautiful bronze sculpture dating from early 20th century Japan paying homage to the literati and Confucian traditions which formed the basis of Japanese ideology at the time. It is signed Kiyoshi with an engraved signature on the hem of his robes. The figure stands 39 cm (15-1/2 inches) tall and is in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1473156
The Kura
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An early Edo period Ki-Seto sake cup repurposed with a silver lid pierced with a chrysanthemum to function as an incense burner enclosed in a custom made silk pouch and bamboo case dating the transformation to New Years of Kae-7 (1854). Without the lid it is 5.5 cm (roughly 2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1930 item #1478829 (stock #MOR7925)
The Kura
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An exquisite bronze image of an ancient sage, a gnarled staff supporting his crooked frame with a golden fan capped with silver feathers clutched in his right hand. The Detail is superb, from the evocative expression to the minute details on his robe and accoutrements. It is signed on the foot Seiun (Hara Souemon), a top quality bronze, expressive and detailed. The figure is 10 inches (25.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
The Seiun family began bronze casting by the lost wax method in the later Edo to Meiji period, receiving the technique directly from Hara Takusai. Each piece is unique, unlike many foundries which employ re-usable molds. They are currently in the 5th generation, and have been named an intangible cultural property of Niigata Prefecture.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1483324 (stock #MOR8085)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A small circular table likely made as a stand for an incense burner or suiban basin dating from the Muromachi era (late 14th to 16th century ) covered in black lacquer over which has been applied vermillion in the style known as Negoro. About the center a ring of wood grain is typical of the era. It is supported by three curling feet extending from a billowing diaper. The lacquer, originally black, has oxidized to a mellow chocolate color beneath. It is 29 cm (11-1/2 inches) diameter, 14.5 cm (5-3/4 inches) tall. As one may imagine there are some losses and much wear to the edges typical of age. One leg has been broken and repaired. Surprisingly good condition for something over 500 years old.
According to the National Gallery of Victoria: Negoro refers to simple and elegant red lacquer objects that were produced during Japan’s medieval period, between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. Embodying the ancient sense of Japanese beauty, the minimalistic forms of Negoro lacquer ware were primarily made to be functional objects and are void of elaborate decoration. The supple shapes and naturally worn patina of red and black lacquered layers give Negoro an ambience of antiquity and elegance which has made them treasured objects throughout the ages. Since the early twentieth century Negoro wares have become highly appreciated by connoisseurs as objects of outstanding design that pursue a certain utilitarian beauty. Negoro lacquer derived its name from the Buddhist temple of Negoro-ji, located in the mountains of present-day Wakayama Prefecture, just south of Osaka. Established in 1243 as a temple of esoteric Buddhist practice, Negoro-ji thrived during the Kamakura, Muromachi and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. In period depictions of monastery life and aristocratic villas Negoro utensils are clearly shown as favoured and cherished objects, alluding to demand for their production in large numbers. Square and circular trays, bowls of various sizes and large spouted ewers were used at daily meals. Lobed cup stands, offering trays and sake bottles with foliate lids featured in temple rituals and clearly display lotus flower–inspired motifs common to Buddhist art. Stem tables were frequently used as offering stands and placed in altars of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Circular wash basins with legs were used in monastery ceremonies to catch water poured over the hands of monks in an act of purification. Large hot water pots or spouted ewers were often used as practical kitchen and serving utensils, and are still used to this day in Zen monastery dining halls. The true essence of Negoro is found in its antiquity and the generations of affectionate use that imbues these objects with the esoteric Japanese spirit wabi (the aesthetic of beauty found in imperfection), and sabi (an affection for the old and faded). With regular use the wearing and reduction of the outer red coating gradually reveals the black lacquer beneath, creating an ever-changing beauty that can only result from continual use and the passage of time. Cracks, wear, damage, splits, texturing and irregularities all enhance the harmonious sophistication of a Negoro object’s surface. This natural evolution of beauty, similar to the maturing of the human spirit with age, epitomises the Japanese spirit and stems from the belief that the respectful use of an object for its proper function enhances its appearance and status.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1491822 (stock #K031)
The Kura
$1,550.00
Sale Pending
A classic bun-shaped Koro incense burner by Miyagawa Chozo pierced with Incense-clock-patterns enclosed in the rare original signed wooden box. It is 8.8 cm diameter, 7.5cm tall and is in excellent condition. The box contains a hand written note in old Japanese describing the origins of Makuzu-ware.
Miyagawa Chozo (1797-1860), also known as Chobei was born a direct descendant of Chokansai and would be the father to Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan I (1842-1916). The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by this, the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family, In 1832 at the age of thirty-five, he became apprentice to Aoki Mokubei (1767-1833) and by 35 had established his reputation as a preeminent independent potter. Differing from his master Mokubei (who was most renowned for Sencha ware) Chozo produced almost exclusively ceramics for use with Maccha (Japanese powdered tea ceremony) wares. Many say his most representative works were his Ninsei items, incense containers being particularly renowned. For more on this artist see Master Potter of Meiji Japan, Makuzu Kozan. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. The kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The kiln was destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1473114
The Kura
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A rare stacking Bento (picnic) box in the shape of a tea leaf storage jar decorated in a realistic fashion with black, silver and gold maki-e lacquer. It consists of four pieces, stacked they are 28 cm (11 inches) tall, and all are in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1480950
The Kura
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An exquisite Edo period incense burner, the fine red clay covered in running bamboo glaze from the kilns of Takatori on the southern Island of Kyushu wrapped in a silk pouch and enclosed in a period Kiri-wood box. The lid is solid silver pierced with roiling fronds. It is 7.5 cm diameter, 7 cm tall excluding the silver lid, and in excellent condition.
Takatori-yaki, is a traditional style of Japanese pottery that originated in the early 17th century. It was developed in the town of Takatori (mod. Fukuoka Prefecture). Takatori-yaki is renowned for its unique and distinctive aesthetic, characterized by rustic simplicity, earthy tones and running glaze. The history of Takatori pottery dates back to the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868) when a Korean potter named Yi Sam-pyeong, also known as Ri Sampei in Japanese, settled in the area. Yi Sam-pyeong had been brought to Japan by the powerful daimyo (feudal lord) Hosokawa Tadaoki, who ruled over the Higo Province (present-day Kumamoto Prefecture). Tadaoki was fascinated by Korean pottery and invited skilled potters from Korea to establish kilns in Japan, with Yi Sam-pyeong being one of them. Under the patronage of the Hosokawa family, Yi Sam-pyeong and his descendants established the Takatori kilns in the town of Takatori. Initially, the kilns produced pottery influenced by Korean styles, particularly the Buncheong and Ido wares. However, over time, they developed their own distinct style, blending Korean techniques with Japanese aesthetics. Takatori was highly prized by tea masters and samurai lords who appreciated its rustic charm and humble beauty. Takatori-yaki became an integral part of the tea ceremony culture, as its earthy tones and natural glazes were considered suitable for the serene and rustic atmosphere of tea houses.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1930 item #1483436
The Kura
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Porcelain cranes in a lead tree decorate the lacquered top of this gilded wooden box enclosed in the original wooden box titled Romatsu Sokaku Zu (Ancient Pine Two Cranes) and signed Sekka, with signatures of Tozan II (porcelain decoration) and Suzuki Hyoetsu (lacquer artist) inside. In this case, Kamisaka Sekka produced the design, enlisting two of Kyoto’s then top artisans to complete the work, lacquer artist Miki Hyoetsu I who applied the lead, gold and lacquer and Ito Tozan who created the ceramic cranes and pine boughs. The box is in unused condition, containing the original stone and water-dropper and two brushes still wrapped in paper. It is 25.5 x 10 x 3.5 cm (10 x 4 x 1-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition. Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) is the godfather of 20th century Japanese design and the Rimpa revival. He was born in Kyoto in 1866, one of six siblings. From 1882 he began his artistic career, however did not take-off until visiting the Paris Expo in 1901, where he was exposed to Art Nouveau and Western industrial design concepts. He was adept as a painter and designer in an assortment of other media, working with various artisans to bring to life his ideas. He was employed as a teacher at the Kyoto Municipal School of Art, and was widely exhibited and prized throughout his career, which ended in retirement in 1938. Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III and Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prized at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title, and like his teacher Denshichi, created the dishes from which the Imperial family would eat. He worked very closely with his adopted son, Ito Tozan II (1871-1937). He too began life as a painter, but his talent was seen by Tozan I, who adopted him and converted him to pottery, where he both succeeded and excelled as a member of one of Kyotos most well known pottery families. Miki Hyoetsu I was born in 1877, establishing a line of craftsman which lasts to this day. He was exhibited at the Shotoku Taishi Ten and Paris World Exposition among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Devotional Objects : Pre 1900 item #1486269
The Kura
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An antique gilt bronze Buddhist tower finial with three pierced flame flanges richly engraved with scrolling vines mounted on a hardwood pedestal It is 53 cm tall and in overall excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1487634
The Kura
sold, thank you
Unusual Pottery sweets dish in soft green glaze by the 11th generation head of the Raku Family Keinyu, enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Chagata Kobachi. Covered in crackled pale green glaze, it is 11.5 cm diameter, 8 cm tall and in excellent condition.
The 11th generation head of the Raku family, Keinyu, was born a second son of Ogawa Naohachi, a sake brewer from Tanba, the present Kameoka city in Kyoto, he was adopted in the Raku family as Tannyû's son-in-law, assuming the name of Keinyû. He succeeded as the 11th generation in 1845. He retired in 1871. The period he lived through was an age of transmission from the feudalism of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the modernization of the Meiji government introducing the modern cultural prospects from the West. At the same time he saw the collapse of traditional culture including the tea culture. Over a long production of ceramics under such unfavourable circumstances, Keinyû, however, vigorously made a variety of ceramics, not only tea bowls but other tea utensils as well as decorative objects, considered as the most versatile among all the Raku generations. His work is endowed with a high quality of artifice as well as a poetic sensibility.