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 #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 This was likely originally made as a tea cup, considering that the entire interior is glazed.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 : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1473156
The Kura
sold, thank you
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 : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1477328
The Kura
sold, thank you
Thick molten ash drivels over the shoulder of this fabulous 17th century Shigaraki Tsubo storage jar showing all the great attributes of Shigaraki ware. It has a large open ware (pronounced wa-ray) crack down the front, which does not go through to the inside, and the fire blasted front surface is shot with fine heat cracks. A large Kutsuki to the lower let shows where it adhered to something else in the kiln during the firing. Natural ash glaze in yellow and green slides down over the surface forming shiny green drips opposite raw earth burnt red studded with Shiseke feldspathic stones. On the foot are two supporting Geta. It is 31 cm tall, nd in overall excellent condition, with one colored repair to the mouth (see photos).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1478842
The Kura
sold, thank you
A rare Seto Heishi (also read Heiji) bottle dating from the Kamakura period (1192-1333) wrapped in a custom made silk pouch with age darkened Kiri-wood box. Streaks of an unusual blue shidare glaze are visible on one side, Unlike the vast majority of Heishi bottles, this piece is no unearthed or excavated but has been passed down from generation to generation (as evidenced by the lack of inclusions or calcification). It is 24 cm tall and in overall excellent condition, with only minor chips about the rim. Included is a printed image of the piece titled Seto Haiyu Heishi, Kamakura period. This appears to have been cut from an exhibition catalog, and one can guess it has been exhibited.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1478869
The Kura
sold, thank you
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 : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Wood : Pre 1700 item #1482362
The Kura
sold, thank you
A startling find! A Horned Demon mask dating from the Nanboku-cho to earlier Muromachi eras (14th to 15th centuries) carved from a single block of wood and enclosed in an ancient kiri-wood box. The visage would have once sported a lower jaw, likely suspended by chord, which is no longer extant. It is 21 x 15 x 9 cm (8-1/4 x 6 x 3-13/4 inches) and is in overall fine condition, exuding a great sense of age.
Oni Masks: Oni are a type of horned demon or ogre in Japanese folklore. They are often depicted with fierce expressions, sharp teeth, and horns on their foreheads. Oni masks were commonly used in various traditional Japanese performing arts, including Noh theater, Kyogen (a comedic theater form), and festivals. In Noh and Kyogen plays, Oni characters represented malevolent supernatural beings or disruptive forces. Oni masks were crafted with variations in color and design to represent different types of Oni with distinct personalities and roles in performances.
Horned demons and monstrous beings have been a recurring theme in various art forms and folklore throughout Japanese history. The Hannya mask, with its distinctive design and association with the Noh theater, is one of the most iconic representations of a horned demon in Japanese culture. However, it is just one of the many examples of horned demon imagery that has been present in Japanese artistry throughout history.
The term "Hannya" refers to a vengeful female spirit or demon, often depicted as a hideous and tormented being with sharp fangs and a horned, demonic visage. The character of the Hannya is prevalent in Noh theater, a traditional form of Japanese drama that dates back to the 14th century. Hannya is often portrayed as a woman who transforms into a demon due to overwhelming jealousy, rage, or sorrow. The transformation occurs after experiencing intense emotional pain, particularly from unrequited love or betrayal. As a result, the Hannya's soul becomes consumed by negative emotions, leading to her metamorphosis into a malevolent, otherworldly creature. The Hannya mask is a distinctive and iconic representation of this character. It features a fearsome expression with bulging, angry eyes, a long nose, sharp fangs, and two sharp, upward-curving horns on the forehead. The mask is crafted to express a complex range of emotions, capturing the Hannya's torment, grief, and anger.
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.
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 1700 item #1487331
The Kura
$2,500.00
A shard has been grafted into the side of this large misshapen Shino bottle dating from the Momoyama to early Edo period, the repair lined with gold. Gold also circle the neck where the discarded misfire was repaired, and gleams on the lip. It is 22 cm (9 inches) tall and in excellent condition. It comes in an age darkened wooden box titled Ko-Shino Tokkuri, Shoki no Kama (Old Shino Tokkuri, early Kiln era)
This method of using pieces from multiple works with lacquer repair is called Yobitsugi. Yobitsugi is a form of kintsugi that entails combining pieces of different objects together in order to create a completely new vessel. The newly created vessel is typically made of 60% – 70% of the first vessel and 30%-40% of the second vessel. It is said that this technique was used as a sign of reconciliation between two warring factions during the Sengoku Period, the era of warfare surrounding the 1500s. It was common for the leaders of these factions to hold tea ceremonies with each other to negotiate peace. It is said that, when the negotiations were successful, yobitsugi was used to combine the tea sets used at the meeting where peace was decided.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1487575
The Kura
$900.00
A lovely chawan made of three separate excavated shards connected by lines of gold dating from the Kamakura to early Muromachi periods (13th to 14th centuries). It is 15.7 cm diameter, 7 cm tall and in excellent condition, enclosed in an old wooden box.
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 : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1489585
The Kura
Sale Pending
A classic Nanban style Japanese lacquer tray decorated with mother of pearl inlay featuring four panels of birds among floral patterns separated by bands and frets dating from the 17th century later Momoyama to early Edo era. It is 43 × 28.5 x 2cm (17 x 11 x 1 inches). It has been fully restored, with repairs to the original lacquer and inlay, and the underside has been re-lacquered. It comes in a custom fitted Chinese style cloth bound box lined with red silk.
According to the Met: The Portuguese and Spanish who visited Japan during the Momoyama period were fascinated by the beauty and exotic appearance of luxurious gold-decorated lacquerwares associated with the taste of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598). As a result, lacquers commissioned for the European market typically adopted this flamboyant style (Kōdaiji maki-e). Such pieces—among the earliest trade goods exported from Japan—are known collectively as “Nanban,” or “Southern Barbarian,” the Japanese appellation for foreigners who arrived “from the south.” Highly prized by the great families of Europe as luxurious exotica, they helped to define a “Japan aesthetic” for the Continent for more than three centuries. The decorative patterns depict Japanese subjects, among others, including maple, mandarin orange, and cherry trees, camellia flowers, wisteria branches, and birds. The decorative bands of the borders are embellished with geometric designs. One of the characteristic features of the Nanban lacquers is the rich application of mother-of-pearl inlays.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1489649
The Kura
$1,200.00
An E-karatsu Yobitsugi bowl made of various shards attached with wide bands of gold to a discarded base: the pieces dating from the Momoyama to early Edo periods. It is 22 x 20 x 6 cm 8-1/2 x 8 x 2-1/4 inches) and comes enclosed in a modern kiri-wood collectors box titled E-Karatsu Hachi.
This method of using pieces from multiple works with lacquer repair is called Yobitsugi. Yobitsugi is a form of kintsugi that entails combining pieces of different objects together in order to create a completely new vessel. The newly created vessel is typically made of 60% – 70% of the first vessel and 30%-40% of the second vessel. Kintsugi embodies the spirit of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic worldview centered around imperfection, transience, and the beauty of the natural cycle of growth and decay. Embracing the flawed and broken aspects of an object through kintsugi is a way to appreciate the passage of time and the history of the object, recognizing that it gains value and character through its journey. Kintsugi aligns with traditional Japanese values of frugality and resourcefulness. Instead of discarding broken items, kintsugi repairs them, extending their lifespan and reducing waste. This approach reflects a profound respect for resources and a desire to cherish and honor the objects used in daily life. This is also a way to avoid offending the spirit of the object, as all items are embodied with a soul of some sort. The act of repairing broken pottery with gold-laced lacquer carries a symbolic message of resilience and overcoming adversity. The restored object becomes a metaphor for the human experience, highlighting that even after suffering damage or hardship, one can find beauty and strength through healing and renewal. In the context of the Japanese tea ceremony kintsugi plays a vital role in enhancing the overall aesthetic experience, especially during the tenth month. The practice of kintsugi encourages contemplation and introspection during the tea ceremony. Guests may be reminded of the impermanence of all things and the beauty that can arise from embracing life's scars and vulnerabilities. Overall, kintsugi holds a deep cultural and philosophical significance in Japanese culture, symbolizing beauty in imperfection, respect for resources, and the resilience of both objects and individuals. In the context of the tea ceremony, it enriches the aesthetics and fosters a sense of mindfulness and appreciation for the present moment.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1491395 (stock #Oc006)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A fabulous example exploring the various traits of traditional Shigaraki pottery with a thick swath of glaze covering one side, telltale feldspathic inclusions bursting from the raw clay opposite. This is a classic example of 16th century Shigaraki pottery. It is 29 x 31 x 35 cm (11-1/2 x 12 x 14 inches) and in overall excellent condition. The history of Shigaraki traces its origins to around the 12th century with the discovery of exceptional clay deposits rich in iron and other minerals which contribute to its distinct rustic charm. The clay's natural tones, ranging from warm browns to deep russet, evoke the earth's organic essence. The subtle imperfections and irregularities of the forms and glazes mimic the irregularities found in nature, embodying the concept of wabi-sabi. Shigaraki ware captures the essence of simplicity, modesty, and reverence for the natural world, reflecting the philosophical ideals deeply rooted in Japanese culture. During the Muromachi and Momoyama periods (1336-1603), the popularity of Shigaraki pottery soared due to changes in the aesthetic of the tea ceremony, which came to emphasize the importance of humility. Shigaraki pieces, with their earthy tones, and rough natural textures, perfectly embodied the idea, making them highly sought-after by connoisseurs. In the Momoyama period (1573-1603), the introduction of anagama kilns that foster the spontaneous and unpredictable nature of the firing process, further enhanced the uniqueness of Shigaraki ceramics leaving beautiful variations in glaze and color based on, among other factors, kiln placement, fuel, firing time, convection, temperature, oxidation, and atmospheric conditions. Shigaraki celebrates the natural properties of the clay it is made from with the idea of Tsuchi-aji (literally Clay Flavor). Tsuchi-aji refers to the “visual taste” of the clay and is highly prized by connoisseurs. The surface often displays fascinating natural effects, including "hi-iro" (fire coloration), "koge" (scorch marks), Shizen-yu (natural ash glaze) and various "Yohen" (alterations). They contribute to the distinctive and organic aesthetic of Shigaraki pottery. Each piece tells a story of its journey through the firing process, reflecting the harmonious relationship between the artist, the kiln, and the natural elements. The interplay of clay, fire, and ash creates a captivating visual narrative, making Shigaraki pottery a testament to the beauty of the moment, the ephemeral and the accidental.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1492640 (stock #K053)
The Kura
$1,750.00
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 1700 item #1492680 (stock #K072)
The Kura
$2,700.00
A small Shigaraki pottery urn of very rough clay dating from the 16th century covered in thin natural ash glaze. The squat form known as Uzukumaru is very popular for its simplicity in Japanese Tea Aesthetics. About the shoulder is a lattice fence design engraved into the earth, otherwise it is unadorned and very humble. It is 14 cm (5-1/2 inches) diameter, roughly the same height enclosed in an ancient wooden storage box. There is an old age-darkened chip to the rim, otherwise is in surprisingly condition,
Appreciation of ancient Shigaraki pottery encapsulates a profound appreciation for imperfection, transience, and simplicity. Wabi-sabi cherishes the beauty found in the imperfect, the weathered, and the natural, fostering a sense of humility and acceptance. This philosophy values authenticity over artificial perfection, encouraging a deeper connection with nature and the passage of time. Similarly, the Japanese tea aesthetic, rooted in the tea ceremony's ritualistic practices, emphasizes harmony, respect, and tranquility. Together, they invite individuals to embrace the fleeting moments of life, finding solace and serenity in the subtle beauty of the everyday.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1800 item #1475187
The Kura
sold, thank you
An incredible Mishima Chawan dating from the Edo period with a wide repair to the rim in dark lacquer decorated with golden grasses in gold maki-e lacquer designs. It comes in an ancient dilapidated silk pouch with cotton buffer enclosed in an age darkened kiri-wood box titled Mishima Chawan. The bowl is 5.5 cm (2 inches) tall, 12.5 -13.5 cm (5-1/2 -6 inches) diameter and in fine condition. Mishima ware refers to different types of imported and adopted Japanese pottery. Mishima originally refers to the shimamono pottery imported from the islands of Taiwan, Luzon, and "Amakawa" (Macau). They were characterized by being roughly-made and often uneven, thus epitomizing the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. HOwever the term overall came to refer to impressed and slip-inlayed ceramics in the Korean style like this bowl.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1800 item #1487278
The Kura
$800.00
A bucolic scene of temples and rugged seaside hills dotted with pagodas in silver and gold wraps around the black surface of this deep tray dating from the Momoyama to early Edo period (16th-17th century). It is 27 cm (10-1/2 inches) diameter, 8.5 cm (3-3/8 inches) tall. The bottom has been re-lacquered at some time in the past. There is wear and cracks to the inside typical of age and use, and the rim has been re-done in gin-dame powdered tarnished-silver, which blends well with the ancient feeling of the piece.