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 1930 item #1489911
The Kura
sold, thank you
Red ivy clings to the pale crackled glaze of this tsubo by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozen enclosed in the original signed wooden box. Below glistening black glaze covers the bottom, in a style well known for this artist. It is 24.5 (just less than 10 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
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 the tenth generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. 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. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one year mourning for his fathers passing. Under Hanzan 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 completely 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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1940 item #1470209
The Kura
sold, thank you
Toast the new years with this solid silver sake set made for celebrations. 3 solid silver cups, as well as a beautifully shaped silver sake kettle with lid, each piece bearing the jun-gin (Pure or 100 percent silver) mark. They come enclosed in a wooden box titled Jungin-sei Shuki (Solid Silver Sake Set). The kettle is 13 cm diameter, 18 cm wide at the spout. The largest cup is 12 cm (4-3/4 inches) diameter. In total the set weighs 757 grams, or 1.65 pounds of pure silver!
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1487710 (stock #OC019)
The Kura
sold, thank you
Reaching for his hat, the boatman leans out arms extended toward the prow, protected from the elements under a woven reed roof. This beautiful incense burner comes enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 24 x 8 x 10 cm (9-1/2 x 3-1/4 x 4 inches) and is in excellent condition.
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 the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. 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. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan (1859-1940) through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan 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 unlucky third generation inherited the kiln at the height of the war years, it was completely 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 : Devotional Objects : Pre 1900 item #1481717
The Kura
sold, thank you
A serene vision of enlightenment, calming and compassionate, can be seen in the later Edo period Buddhist carving of Amitabha. He stands on a lotus base, with a flame like mandala rising up behind him in the shape of a jewel, the entire gilded in pure gold worn soft with age and care. The figure alone is 39 cm (15-1/2 inches) tall. With the base and mandala, it is 65.5 cm (just under 26 inches) tall. It is in excellent condition. I believe that some restoration has been performed on the delicately sculpted hands in the past, not uncommon in the most earthquake prone country on the planet.
Amida Buddha, also known as Amida Nyorai or Amitabha Buddha, is an important figure in Mahayana Buddhism, particularly in the Pure Land Buddhism tradition which permeates Japan. He is revered as a celestial Buddha who resides in the Pure Land, a realm of ultimate enlightenment and liberation from suffering. Pure Land Buddhism and the belief in Amida Buddha were introduced to Japan during the 8th century. The key figure responsible for bringing Pure Land teachings to Japan was the monk, scholar, and imperial advisor named Genshin (942-1017). Genshin is considered the founder of the Japanese Pure Land school and played a significant role in popularizing the Pure Land teachings in the country. Genshin was deeply influenced by the Chinese Pure Land master Shan-tao (613-681) and his teachings on Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land. Shan-tao was a renowned exponent of Pure Land Buddhism, and his writings and teachings had a profound impact on the development of the Pure Land tradition in East Asia. Genshin's most famous work, "Ojoyoshu" (The Essentials of Rebirth in the Pure Land), written in 985, became a seminal text in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. In this treatise, Genshin elaborated on the concept of Amida Buddha's Pure Land and the practice of reciting the Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu) as a means of attaining birth in the Pure Land after death. After the establishment of the Pure Land school, Pure Land Buddhism gained popularity among the common people and members of the aristocracy in Japan. The teaching of salvation through faith in Amida Buddha's vow and the chanting of the Nembutsu resonated with the aspirations of people seeking a simple and accessible path to enlightenment. Over time, other prominent figures and schools contributed to the spread and development of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. Notably, Honen (1133-1212), the founder of the Jodo Shu (Pure Land School) in the Kamakura period, and Shinran (1173-1263), the founder of the Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land School), played significant roles in popularizing Pure Land Buddhism and further shaping its doctrines.
Amida Buddha and Pure Land Buddhism continue to be influential and revered in various Asian countries, especially in Japan, where it has a significant presence as one of the major Buddhist traditions. The belief in Amida Buddha's compassion and the aspiration to reach his Pure Land remain important elements in the spiritual lives of millions of Buddhists around the world.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1477286
The Kura
sold, thank you
This is a breathtaking work of art, a cherubic figure forms the finial of this later Edo period ceramic incense burner. Atop the lid strides a youth in purple robes wearing a lotus leaf as a hat and blowing a flue, a staff lays at his feet. About the square box of the ash pot are exquisite-colored designs lined with gold like precious jewels dangling from the edge. Two beast heads protrude from the sides and the entire is elevated on a square foot. The koro is 8 x 11 x 17 cm (3-1/4 x 4-1/2 x 7 inches) and is in excellent condition. It comes enclosed in an age darkened Kiri-wood box with chamfered edges titled Ninsei Fue-buki Jizo Koro annotated inside the lid Zuiichi (Superlative) followed by a Kao signature traditionally used by Tea Masters, Literati and important figures such as samurai and (Edo period) court figures.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1481152
The Kura
sold, thank you
A pair of covered ceremonial Sake-Tsubo called Heiji decorated with the three auspicious winter plants, Sho-chiku-bai (Pine, bamboo and plum) by Ito Tozan II enclosed in the original wooden box Plum pine and bamboo rise up in a riot of color on the thinly crackled pale glaze covering the surface. Inside the box is dated Showa 11 (1936) 8th month, 9th day. Each is roughly 22 cm (9 inches) tall and in excellent condition, each uniquely stamped on the base with the artist seal.
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 nd 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 prizd 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.
Ito Tozan II (1871-1937) was born the fourth son of one of the upper level samurai of the Zeze feudal domain in Otsu, just over the mountains from Kyoto and began his artistic career as a painter. He was picked up by Tozan I and introduced to the plastic arts, where he flourished, taking over the Tozan kiln in 1920, following the death of his mentor.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1480991
The Kura
sold, thank you
Brilliant red leaves seem to glow in the darkness over a band f silver on this vase by Miyagawa Kozan. It is 24 cm (9-1/2 inches) tall, 21 cm (8-1/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. There is no box.
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 the tenth generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. 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. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one year mourning for his fathers passing. Under Hanzan 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 completely 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 : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1471840 (stock #OC053)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A long verse is incised into the side of this tea bowl by Otagaki Rengetsu. The poem reads:
Yorozuyo mo 10,000 ages
tae nu nagare to enduring the surge
shimetsu ran so well
sono kame no o no From Turtle Tail Mountain
yama no shitamizu. The water flows
The bowl is 12.2 cm (5 inches) diameter and in perfect condition. It comes wrapped in a silk cloth pouch, enclosed in an old box with original lid inside of which is a long verse. It has been appraised by the head priest of Jinkoin Tokuda Koen on a separate newer lid titled Rengetsu Ro-ni saku Chawan.
Otagaki Rengetsu was born into a samurai family, she was adopted into the Otagaki family soon after birth, and served as a lady in waiting in Kameoka Castle in her formative years, where she received an education worthy of a Lady of means. Reputed to be incredibly beautiful, she was married and bore three children; however, her husband and all children died before she was twenty. Remarried she bore another daughter, however that child too perished and her husband died while she was just 32. Inconsolable, she cut off her hair to join the nunnery at Chion-in Temple, where she renounced the world and received the name Rengetsu (Lotus Moon). However, this was not the end, but only the beginning of a career as artist and poet which would propel her to the top of the 19th century Japan literati art world.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1478249
The Kura
sold, thank you
A carved lacquer box which pays homage to Chinese literary taste while presenting itself clearly in a modern, Japanese way (for turn of the century lacquerware at least) by 2nd generation lacquer artist Ishii Yusuke enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The tsuishu lacquer technique requires applying layer upon layer of lacquer which is then carved through and polished, a painstaking process. This piece is exquisitely crafted, carved and polished revealing the many layers of lacquer, it is 13.5 x 10.5 x 5.5 cm (5-1/2 x 4 x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition. On bottom in a bell-shaped gold cartouche are the characters Yusuke. According to the box it was held in the collection of the Kuriyama Sodo, home of Ishizaka Sennosuke who was a member of the governing assembly of Toyama prefecture.
Ishii Yusuke (1851-1925) was born the second son of the lacquer artist Ishii Yusuke (different characters, 1810-1886) in the waning years of the Edo period. After learning from his father, he became independent, establishing a second branch family in the Yusuke Lacquer Tradition. The first Yusuke Ishii Founded Yusuke lacquerware and created Chinese-style lacquerware in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture. He pioneered rust painting and gold leaf techniques to express Chinese-style paintings of flowers, birds, and landscapes three-dimensionally on ancient vermilion or matte lacquer. Later, the eldest son succeeded as Yusuke II
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1940 item #1485801
The Kura
sold, thank you
The cormorant prepares to take flight, wings extended, captured in bronze in a moment of excitement, the shapr eyes focused ahead. Captivating realism with simple Art-deco overtones signed below the tail. It is 32 x 36.5 x 25 cm (14-1/2 x 13 x 10 inches) and is in excellent condition. The cormorant, known in Japanese simply as U, is a migratory bird native to the east Palearctic with a range from Taiwan to the Russian Far East. It has a black body with a white throat and cheeks and a partially yellow bill. It is one of the species of cormorant that has been domesticated by fishermen in a tradition known in Japan as ukai. This method of fishing is often depicted in art and is now a popular tourist attraction during the brief Ukai season.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Wood : Pre 1920 item #1490013
The Kura
sold, thank you
A magnificent stand of root wood writhing upward to a flattened cluster, a perfect example of the Japanese esteem for things natural enclosed in a period custom made wooden storage box. It is 48 cm (19 inches) tall and in overall excellent condition. Perfect for elevating a koro incense burner or tiny bonsai.
The aesthetic of the scholar studio is embodied in an acute appreciation for representations of the natural world in any form; from the subject of a painting in the alcove to the texture of the wood on the desk and the colors or deformities in the bamboo brush hanging from a piece of natural wood.
A profound influence from China, through the practice of Chinese style steeped tea (Sencha) and glorification of the Literati ideal of the Ming is part of the dual basis of Japans Scholar tradition. Equally important is an understanding and appreciation of natural degradation and the fleeting nature of existence espoused in the ideal of wabi-sabi and the world of Japanese Powdered Tea (Maccha). Behind both these concepts lies a basis in Zen (Chan) Buddhist precepts and Taoist/Confucianist Philosophy.
Stone. Wood. Earth. Grain. Texture. Form. All natural, imperfect, transient and unique.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1487734
The Kura
sold, thank you
A spectacular collapsed pottery jar from the Karatsu tradition with a purpose-warped wooden lid covered in powdered silver enclosed in a top quality ancient red-lacquered kiri-wood box lined with wave-patterned colored-paper. The ancient box has silver lacquer writing on the top reading Kodai Karatsu Tsubo, Kamakura Ki, Mizusashi (Ancient Karatsu Tsubo, Kamakura Period, Mizusashi). The pot is 17 cm (7 inches) diameter, 15 cm (6 inches) tall and in overall excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1470115 (stock #OC081)
The Kura
sold, thank you
An exceptional web of gold interspersed with nishiki-cloth patterned designs on gold lacquer fuses this once broken 16th-17th century Koro with ami-me net patterned solid silver lid. This was likely originally made as a tea cup, considering that the entire interior is glazed. Broken and reassembled using the Kintsugi gold technique and placing unusual patterns on the missing portions, this is an exceptional work of art. The silver lid was likely made when it was repaired and repurposed as an incense burner. It is 8 cm diameter, 7 cm tall (roughly 3 inches) and is in excellent condition. It comes in an antique cloth pouch with solid silver lid enclosed in a compartmentalized age-darkened kiri-wood box.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1920 item #1473099
The Kura
sold, thank you
A bronze crane in dark almond colored patina of superb craftsmanship dating from the late 19th to early 20th century (Meiji period). It is quite large at 48.5 cm tall (19 inches) and is in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1485948
The Kura
sold, thank you
A rare large vase by Kanzan Denshichi decorated with a hermitage in the hills and a poem extolling the beauty of summers first rain by Kanzan Denshichi enclosed in the original signed wooden box bearing the Shountei seal, dating it between 1871 and 1890. It is 34 cm (13-1/2 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Kanzan Denshichi (1821-1890) was born in the ceramic-producing area of Seto. He worked at the Koto kiln of the Ii family in the Hikone domain, moving to Kyoto when the kiln closed in 1862. In Kyoto, he established his workshop at the base of Kiyomizu-zaka where he worked under the name Terao Denshichi and is thought to have been one of the first ceramicists in Kyoto to specialize specifically in porcelain. In the first year of the Meiji era (1868) he worked to supply the Kyoto Prefectural Office, following which he studied Western painting and pottery decoration under Gottfried Wagner. In the following three years, production was renamed Shountei and he worked under the name Kato Kanzan. Kanzan’s works include porcelain tableware, both Western and Japanese in style, often decorated with brightly colored polychrome and gold. Some of these wares were made for export, and Kanzan also exhibited at international exhibitions, securing a gold medal at Paris in 1878 In 1881 during their visit to Japan, Queen Victoria’s grandsons: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, and Prince George, Duke of York (George V), visited Kanzan’s workshop in Kyoto. The Imperial Household Ministry purchased Kanzan’s works, including some tableware for use in the Enriokan and other items in the style of the underglaze blue decorated Edo-period imperial porcelains known as kinri goyōtōki.
Pieces by Kanzan may be found in the collections of the Sannomaru Shōzōkan (Museum of the Imperial Collections) and Imperial Banqueting Department of Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo National Museum and Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives. The Victoria and Albert Museum has a pair of vases displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876, a pair of ginger jars and four other small pieces. In 2014, the Sannomaru Shōzōkan devoted an exhibition to a Japanese-style polychrome dinner service made by Kanzan’s workshop for Prince Arisugawa Takehito: Beautiful Modern Kyoyaki (Kyoto-style ware) – Fine works by Kanzan Denshichi passed down within the Prince Arisugawa Family, 21 March – 22 June 2014.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1487733
The Kura
sold, thank you
A fabulous porcelain incense burner in the shape of a boy playing the flute astride a large ox dating from the 19th century. The box identifies the work as Hirado ware. The quality is certainly of that level. It is 23.5 x 12 x 19 and is in perfect condition, enclosed in a period red-lacquered wooden box.
In Zen, an oxherd searching for his lost ox has served as a parable for a practitioner’s pursuit of enlightenment since this Buddhist sect’s early history in China. In the eleventh century, the Song-dynasty Zen master Guoan Shiyuan codified the parable into ten verses. The parable proceeds from the herd boy losing his ox and following its tracks to recover the animal to transcending this world. This piece represents the sixth step in enlightenment, riding the bull home. This is the point where one has attained understanding. The ancient verse associated with this image reads:
Mounting the bull, slowly
I return homeward.
The voice of my flute intones
through the evening.
Measuring with hand-beats
the pulsating harmony,
I direct the endless rhythm.
Whoever hears this melody
will join me.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre 1800 item #1487897
The Kura
sold, thank you
A set of 5 rare Dutch glass cups imported to Japan in the Edo period and formerly owned by the Confucian scholar Nakai Riken (1732-1817). They are enclosed in a custom made double sided wooden box with drop in doors titled on the side Yoi-O-Gozui (Five fortuitous ways to be drunken) with a long verse carved into each door. Of course, the meaning of the title goes much deeper, and the Gozui is also a Confucian concept. The emperor of China distributed five jade treasures to the five feudal lords, and they were named. The scholar has named each of the cups after one of these jade objects, Ko, Yu, Haku, Shi and Dan. The Osaka University Professor Ueda Minoru researched Riken, and mentions the treasured set of five glass cups, the smallest with a golden rim, in his research of the scholars life and belongings, claiming them to be one of his most treasured items. The largest cup is 15 cm tall, the smallest 7.5 cm. There are some chips and fractures in the corners of the seven-sided foot of the smallest cup, otherwise all is in overall excellent condition.
Nakai Riken (1732-1817) was a Confucian scholar of the later Edo period. He studied Neo-Confucianism under Goi Ranshu, and together with his older brother Nakai Chikuzan, supported Kaitokudo, a school of learning in Osaka, leaving behind the greatest academic achievements of the Kaitokudo school. the rational and modern academic style that is characteristic of Kaitokudo literati was established mainly by Riken. As a scholar he commented on the classics and wrote books such as " Nanakyo Kadai," and "Shichikyo Kadai Ryaku." These were compiled into a total of thirty-three volumesara. He was well versed not only in economics but also in natural sciences such as astronomy. Goryu Asada, who had studied Western astronomy in earnest, stayed with. He wrote an overview of the ming period book "Tenkyo Arumon," by Yushiroku, and created a celestial map. In addition to astronomy, he also left a natural history map "Sakura Cho", an anatomical chart "Etsuryofutsu", and a microscope observation record "Microscopic Record". In addition, he wrote "Kashokoku Monogatari" (The Tale of Kashokoku), in which the protagonist was the king of a fictitious ideal nation, 'Kashokoku,' and discussed how the nation should be governed. A prolific writer, he left a vast body of contextual research for subsequent generations.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1483039
The Kura
sold, thank you
A quintessential 16th century design in worn gold covers all the dark surfaces of this lacquered wooden box dating from the Momoyama period. Here auspicious cranes and turtles, reported to live a thousand years, laze among pines. About the lid boaters enjoy leisure seas. Ichimonji checkerboard patterns rising diagonally up the sides alternate with garden trees, the ends decorated with wisteria and ivy. The box retains the original inner tray in festive red decorated with garden grasses. It is worn with age and use, but stands testament to the durability of lacquer and evidences the functionality of the coating. The box is 35 x 26.5 x 28 cm (13-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 11 inches). A rare opportunity to acquire such an ancient lacquer work.