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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1470786 (stock #TCR7109)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A dynamic early porcelain work in vivid color by Kiyomizu Rokubei VI enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Futatsuki Kajutu Mon Kashiki (Sweets dish decorated with fruit) bearing his real name, indicating it predates his taking the name Rokubei in 1945. The box bears the seal of the Hattori Tokeiten, purveyors of fine art in Pre-war Japan. The porcelain is 19.7 cm (8 inches) diameter and in excellent condition, signed on the bottom.
The Kiyomizu family potters managed one of the most productive workshops in Kyoto’s Gojozaka district throughout the second half of the Edo period. From the Meiji they began producing tableware for export and special pieces for government-sponsored exhibitions under Rokubei IV. Rokubei V led the kiln into the 20th century, and his son, Rokubei VI (1901-1980), would assume lead in 1945, taking the kiln through the tumultuous years after the Second World War. He graduated the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, then the Kyoto Special School of Painting, before apprenticing under his father in 1925. He exhibited frequently and was often prized at the National Bunten, Teiten and Nitten Exhibits, where he later served as judge. He was also lauded abroad, in the USSR, France, Italy, Belgium and was appointed a member of the Japan Art Academy. In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit for his lifelong devotion to promoting Japanese pottery traditions. His works are held in numerous museums throughout the globe.
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 : 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 : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1486460
The Kura
$500.00
A beautiful 2 Stage lacquered container covered in black lacquer decorated with flowering vines. The domed lid opens to reveal a circular tray removable to open a deep container. It is 8.5 cm (3-1/4 inches) diameter, 11 cm (4-1/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1485958
The Kura
sold, thank you
An exquisite lacquered box covered in gold powder prominently bearing the imperial crest given as a gift to Baron Nakamura Satoru in Meiji 44 (1911). According to the inside of the lid this box was created for the Meiji emperor and given in gratitude to the Baron for his support in creating the Keanfu memorial for fallen soldiers of the Russo-Japanese war. The box is an exquisite example of Imperial splendor featuring leaves tinged with kiri-gane gold inlay over powdered gold on a surface dusted with gold and blue-gold powder. It is 20.5 x 24.5 x 13.5 cm (10 x 8 x 5-1/2 inches) and in perfect condition.
Baron Nakamura Satoru (18 March 1854 – 29 January 1925) was a career soldier in the early Imperial Japanese Army, serving during the Russo-Japanese War, and was an aide-de-camp to Emperor Taishō. He was born the second son of a samurai of Hikone (present-day Shiga Prefecture). Joining the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army in July 1871, he was promoted to corporal in November 1873. After attending the Imperial Army Academy, he was commissioned second lieutenant in November 1874. He fought as an officer in the 2nd Brigade during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 then was assigned to the Imperial Army General Staff Office from March 1879. After promotion to Major he became a battalion commander with the 10th Infantry Regiment. He served as an instructor at the Army Staff College from December 1889. Nakamura was appointed aide-de-camp to the Crown Prince (the future Emperor Taishō) in December 1891, and promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1892. During the First Sino-Japanese War, he served as Aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Japan from the end of October 1894 and was promoted to colonel in December of the same year. In April 1897, he was given command of the 46th Infantry Regiment, which served as a garrison force in Taiwan. He was promoted to major general in September 1899. From April 1900, he was chief-of-staff of the military bureau of the Governor-General of Taiwan. In March 1902, Nakamura was assigned command of the 2nd Brigade, which deployed to Manchuria in March 1904 as part of the Japanese Third Army at the start of the Russo-Japanese War. The unit served with distinction during the Battle of Nanshan. During the Siege of Port Arthur Nakamura led a force named the Shirodasukitai, after the distinctive white tasuki used for visibility and identification in the darkness of a pre-dawn attack. The Shirodasukitai assaulted the Russian fortifications three times, taking great casualties. Nakamura was himself wounded during the assault on the night of 26 November 1904, during which most of his 4,500 man unit was annihilated with no significant result.
He continued in command positions and in September 1907, he was made a baron (danshaku) in the kazoku peerage system. At the end of December 1908, he was once again Aide-de-camp to the Emperor of Japan. In September 1914, he served as resident-general of the Kwantung Leased Territory. In January 1915, he was promoted to full general. During World War I he was appointed to sit the Supreme War Council in 1917. On his death, he was posthumously awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1930 item #1491557 (stock #K023)
The Kura
$850.00
A fascinating Jar-shaped set of stacking food boxes known as a Jubako in multi-color dating from the early 20th century. Jubako were used to serve food to groups or family on festive occasions, where the food was presented in the box, and each person would take what they wanted, rather than have the meal served on individual dishes as in more formal Kaiseki meals. Assembled it is 20 cm (8 inches) diameter 32.5 cm (13 inches) tall and is in overall excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1492595 (stock #K071A)
The Kura
$280.00
Sale Pending
A set of 8 small dishes dating from the later 19th century known as Mame-zara (bean plates) covered in cream colored crackled glaze decorated in the traditional Mugiwarade pattern of alternating stripes of russet red, pale blue and orange emanating like rays from the center. Each plate is roughly 8.5 diameter and all are in excellent condition, enclosed in a modern, black-lacquered wooden box.
This traditional pattern is called ``Mugiwarade'' because its vertical stripes resemble ears of wheat. It has three colored lines: green, red, and indigo and can be used regardless of the season. This pattern of regularly drawn lines was often used on utensils for daily use such as tea bowls, choko cups, and katakuchi cups. It is believed that they were made throughout Seto, including Shinano and Akatsu, from the late Edo period. Onita, which produces a brown color, is alternately painted with a paint called ``Akaraku,'' which produces a red or orange color, and Gosu, which produces an indigo color. You can see thick lines of red or indigo drawn with not just one, but two or even three thin brown lines between them. Drawing these lines at equal intervals and overlapping the lines thinly at the center (orientation) of the inside of the bowl or plate is one of the highlights of the craftsman's skill.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1492596 (stock #K071B)
The Kura
$350.00
A set of three spouted nesting bowls decorated in the traditional Mugiwara pattern of alternating stripes of russet red, pale blue and orange emanating like rays from the center. The larger bowl is 9.5 cm (just under 4 inches) diameter, 5.5 cm (2 inches) tall. The smallest is roughly 7.5 diameter, 4.5 cm tall and all 3 are in excellent condition, enclosed in an old kiri-wood box.
This traditional pattern is called ``Mugiwarade'' because its vertical stripes resemble ears of wheat. It has three colored lines: green, red, and indigo and can be used regardless of the season. This pattern of regularly drawn lines was often used on utensils for daily use such as tea bowls, choko cups, and katakuchi cups. It is believed that they were made throughout Seto, including Shinano and Akatsu, from the late Edo period. Onita, which produces a brown color, is alternately painted with a paint called ``Akaraku,'' which produces a red or orange color, and Gosu, which produces an indigo color. You can see thick lines of red or indigo drawn with not just one, but two or even three thin brown lines between them. Drawing these lines at equal intervals and overlapping the lines thinly at the center (orientation) of the inside of the bowl or plate is one of the highlights of the craftsman's skill.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1472306 (stock #OC055)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A beautifully sculpted image of a pheasant by Ogawa Yuhei enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 37 cm long and in excellent condition.
Yuhei Ogawa (1885-1945) was born in Takamatsu, Okayama prefecture an came to pottery a bit later than most. In 1923, while working part time at the Naval Hydrographic Department, he was deeply moved by seeing the solo exhibition of ceramic sculptor Kazumasa Numata. This gave him impetus to begin sculpting in his free time. Although he started his career as an artist late at the age of 37, he was selected for the opening exhibition of the newly established arts and crafts department at the Teiten National Exhibition in 1927, and frequently thereafter. He participated in the activities of the Totokai, a group of potters living in the Kanto region, with Itaya Hazan, Numata Kazumasa and Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II serving as advisors, and played an active role as a central artist. In 1934 he was invited to Iwaki Glass Factory as an advisor and created pottery sculptures and glass works for the rest of his life. A sculpture of a black panther is held in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1473954
The Kura
sold, thank you
An ornate porcelain image of a horse draped in full regalia by Miyanaga Tozan I enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The detail about the head is fabulous, and the artist has done an excellent job capturing the musculature of the creature while allowing something ethereal. In Japan horses (and cows and foxes and deer and lots of other creatures) are often enshrined as messengers or embodiments of the gods in Shinto. This is 21 x 9 x 23.5 cm (9-1/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Miyanaga Tozan I (1868-1941) is one of the most important names in Kyoto ceramics. He was born in Ishikawa prefecture, and graduated from the (now) Tokyo University of Art. While a government employee, he represented Japan at Arts Expositions, and studied art in Europe before returning to Japan in 1902 to devote himself to the production of ceramics, with great emphasis on celadon, one of the most difficult of all ceramic wares. He was direct teacher or mentor to a number of prominent artists including Kitaoji Rosanjin and Arakawa Toyozo.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre 1900 item #1491125 (stock #K011)
The Kura
$200.00
A small carved Zushi in the form of a cave housing a red stone in the shape of the Daruma, progenitor of Zen Buddhism in Japan. It is 6 x 4.2 x 8.3 cm (2-1/2 x 1-3/4 x 3-1/4 inches) and is in overall excellent condition, dating from the This would have been made as a talisman to ward off evil spirits. later Edo period.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1483742
The Kura
sold, thank you
A Taisho period Lacquer writing box of superb quality decorated with a design of a stone lantern under broad leaves enclosed in an age darkened kiri-wood box. The scene is performed with Thick slices of shell and lead inlay on black Ro-iro ground with Taka-maki-e and Hira-maki-e designs. Inside is finished in Kin-gin (gold and silver) Nashiji. It contains two ink stones, a solid silver water dropper and Silver lidded box, as well as the original brushes, hole punch and paper knife all in matching Nashiji finish. The box is 38.5 x 15 x 5.5 cm (15 x x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition.
The Rimpa revival of the early 20th century emphasized visual splendor, decorative patterns, and harmonious compositions reflecting nostalgia for the past. However, it was not a strict replication of the past. Artists involved in this movement integrated modern techniques and materials into their work, allowing for a fusion of traditional aesthetics with contemporary artistic practices. This approach enabled artists to create innovative interpretations of the Rimpa style that resonated with the changing times.
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 : Furniture : Pre 1930 item #1491821 (stock #K044)
The Kura
$2,200.00
A fabulous Rootwood stand of dark red hardwood with a web of interlacing root-legs beneath. It is 48 x 32 x 8 cm (19 x 12-1/2 x 3 inches) and is in overall fine condition, dating from the first half of the 20th century.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1492363 (stock #K050)
The Kura
$880.00
Sale Pending
A striking baluster from vase decorated with sinister crows hunched in the silhouette of a leafless winter tree signed on the base Satsuma Kinunzan and dated on side the fifth month of 1911. This fits in perfect with our Kwaidan theme this month, the brooding figures austere against the bleak winter sky, something ominous, a lingering threat. It comes enclosed in a wooden box with a long inscription inside the lid which appears to state it was received from the master of the Satsuma Kinunzan studio in 1917. The vase is 18 cm (7 inches) diameter, 29.5 cm (11-3/4 inches) tall and is in fine, original condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1492548 (stock #Z094)
The Kura
$950.00
Long verses fall like rain upon the sinister figure of an Oni (type of devil) dressed in the habit of a priest who glares as he walks through the village, banging out a warning to all evil-doers. Around his neck hangs a bell which he clangs loudly with the hammer held high in one hand. The stern figure carries in the other hand a booklet titled Hogacho. A Hogacho is a record of the name and quantity of persons who donated (hoga) for projects such as the construction and repair of temples or shrines and the publication of scriptures. In the case of the Oni, his Hogacho records the sins and misdeeds of humans for payment in the after world. On his back is an umbrella. Ink on paper in a simple brown cloth border with highlights of Kinran gold in the Ichimonji above and below with dark lacquered wooden rollers like the shift of a priest moving to reveal the regal robes beneath. It is 39.7 x 179 cm (15-1/2 x 70-1/2 inches) and has been completely cleaned and remounted.
The Oni, often depicted as hulking, fearsome creatures with horns, sharp claws, and a menacing appearance, are a prominent feature in Japanese folklore, Buddhist lore, and broader Japanese culture. Their role and representation have evolved over time, encompassing a range of meanings and functions across different contexts.
In folklore, Oni are typically portrayed as malevolent spirits or demons representing chaos, destruction, and malevolence. They are often depicted as ogre-like beings with red or blue skin, wild hair, and tusks. They are known to cause mischief, bring calamities, and even consume human flesh. Oni are common antagonists in folktales, serving as the embodiment of evil and chaos. However, Oni can also have more nuanced roles. In some stories, they are not purely evil but rather more complex characters with a potential for redemption. Thus in Buddhist tradition, Oni take on additional layers of symbolism. They are often seen as the enforcers in hell (Jigoku), punishing the wicked for their sins. In this context, Oni are agents of karmic retribution, ensuring that sinners face the consequences of their actions. This role reinforces the moral lessons of Buddhism, emphasizing the importance of virtuous behavior to avoid suffering in the afterlife. Sometimes the concept of Oni in Buddhism is more metaphorical, representing inner demons or the obstacles one must overcome on the path to enlightenment. They symbolize inner struggles with the vices and negative emotions such as anger, greed, and ignorance that hinder spiritual progress.
In contemporary Japanese culture, Oni have become more multifaceted. They appear in various media, including literature, art, film, and video games, often with different interpretations. While they still retain their traditional fearsome attributes, they are sometimes depicted in a more humorous or sympathetic light. For example, the Oni character in the popular manga and anime "Dragon Ball" is portrayed as a bureaucratic worker in the afterlife, adding a humorous twist to their traditional role. They also feature prominently in cultural festivals such as Setsubun, celebrated on February 3rd during which people perform rituals to drive away evil spirits. One common practice is the throwing of roasted soybeans (mamemaki) while chanting "Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi" ("Oni out, good fortune in"), which is meant to cleanse the home and welcome good luck.
The enduring presence and adaptability of the Oni in Japanese culture underscore their significance as both a reflection of societal values and a versatile symbol in the collective imagination.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Textiles : Pre 1930 item #1492256 (stock #K049)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A striking image of an itinerant monk carrying his few earthly possessions though the cedar forest in draped in a mino straw-raincoat and hat, all performed with colored thread in silk embroidery. Behind glass, it has been well protected over the last 100 plus years. The wide dark frame is stained Nara (a form of oak) emulating the arts and crafts style. The inner joints have shrunk, a testament to age. The silk panel is 21.5 x 29 cm (8-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches), the frame 38.5 x 46 x 4.5 cm (15 x 18 x 2 inches) and all are in great condition. An in scription on back states it was created under the guidance of Hattori in commemoration of the opening of the Omi (modern day Shiga prefecture) Womens Technical Training School. The work itself is signed Kimura Umeko of the training department.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1930 item #1491409 (stock #N01)
The Kura
$1,350.00
The sage gazes out from his hermitage clinging to the hillside upon a sparse scene of falling water and precipitous climbing peaks dominating this painting by Shirakura Niho dating from the prime of his career. Ink and light color on silk mounted in blue cloth with thin piping terminating in white ceramic rollers. It is 40.5 x 187.5 (16 x 74 inches) and is in excellent condition; enclosed in a modern wooden storage box. A published version of the Niho Catalog will accompany the work.
Shirakura Kinichiro (Kinro, Niho or Jiho, Kanyu, 1896-1974) was born the first son of lawyer and scholar Shirakura Shigeichi in Shibata city, Niigata. His father was a noted Kangakusha, the pre-modern Japanese study of China; the counterpart of Kokugaku (Japanese Studies) and Yōgaku or Rangaku (Western or “Dutch” Studies). He was initially inducted into the Nanga school of painting at the age of 12 under Hattori Goro. He moved to Tokyo at the age of 17, where he studied Western Oil painting with Oshita Tojiro and watercolor under Ishii Hakutei. Two years later his paintings were first accepted into the 8th Bunten National Exhibition under the name Kinro. That same year his work was honored in the Tokyo Taisho Hakurankai Exposition. In 1915 his paintings were again accepted into the Bunten where they were awarded Nyusen status. Despite his initial successes, he paled on Western painting and in 1917 decided to return to the Nanga school joining his initial teacher Hattori Goro who had relocated to Kyoto and it was from Goro that he received the name Niho which we know he was using by mid 1920 when Hattori fell ill, and Niho moved by introduction to study under Tajika Chikuson. In 1921, along with Komura Suiun, Ikeda Keisen, Yano Kyoson, Mizuta Chikuho, Mitsui Hanzan, and Kono Shuson he became a founding member of the Nihon Nanga-In society of literati artists. That same year his first collection of paintings was published, and he began a two year journey in China, which had become a Mecca for Japanese artists. He would consistently display at the Bunten/Teiten where he was consistently awarded, as well as the Nihon Nanga-In. In 1926 he would move to the tutelage of Komura Suiun in Tokyo, and be awarded at the Fist Shotoku Taishi Art Exhibition. He began exhibiting at the newly formed Nanga Renmei Exhibition in 1937 and in 1938 he established his own art salon. In 1940 he would change his name from Niho to Kanyu. Post war his participation in art expositions becomes sporadic. His final known painting, of Nijo castle, created in 1972 is held in the Kyoto prefectural Archives. Other work by him is held in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Kyoto Municipal Kyocera Museum, the Nîgata Prefectural Museum of Art, the Tenmon Museum in Osaka, the Korean National Museum in Seoul, the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Kaluz Museum in Mexico City among others.