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.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1441279 (stock #MOR4362)
The Kura
$900.00
A rare 19th century lacquer box covered in a wave pattern of textured black on black enclosing a Glass-e (verre églomisé) glass panel painted on the reverse with a Dutchman clutching an exceptionally long pipe backed with genuine applied gold gilding. The glass panel is rimmed in silver lacquer, and all edges of the box are lacquered gold, the corners decorated with florals and filigree. Glass-e was a popular art form in the later Edo and Meiji periods. The texture of the paint on the glass is visible in the lacquer covering within. Inside is decorated with clouds of Nashiji. The base is also sprinkled with gold. Bronze hardware secures the lid. The piece measures 7-1/4 x 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches (18.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 cm). There are cracks in two corners, and a section of the silver lacquer frame around the glass missing. We can have the piece restored if desired.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1441125 (stock #MOR8086)
The Kura
$5,800.00
An aristocratic oxcart in mother of pearl, lead, and powdered gold is parked on the cover of this Suzuri Bako writing box dating from the 19th century. A bold design expertly rendered, inside is a billowing Rimpa-style pine tree also in lead, mother of pearl and gold powder. It retains the original gold lacquered ink stone and has a bronze suiteki water dropper in the shape of a turtle, the creatures four feet inset into the lacquer frame above the stone. The box is 23 x 20.5 x 6 cm (9 x 8 2-1/2 inches) and in overall excellent condition, enclosed in a black lacquered period wooden storage box. Inside the signature pays tribute to the Rimpa Master Ogata Korin.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1440954 (stock #MOR7878)
The Kura
Price on Request
A large open shallow bucket shape with elaborate handle called an Oke (Pronounced okay) covered in black and red lacquer in the style known as Negoro dating from the Muromachi period (14th-15th century). A nearly identical Saioke dated 1307 with red lacquered interior is held by the ministry of cultural affairs (Bunkacho) which states it was used for carrying vegetables in a Buddhist Temple. It is 33 cm (13 inches) diameter, 28 cm (11 inches) tall. Of course there are a number of old repairs, as one might imagine for unprotected lacquered wood in use for 5 centuries. It comes in an old slightly worm eaten kiri-wood box titled Negoro Saioke.
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 : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1440945 (stock #MOR8085)
The Kura
Price on Request
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 : Devotional Objects : Pre 1492 item #1440919 (stock #MOR8084)
The Kura
Sale Pending
An Ancient wooden casket for Buddhist ritual implements lacquered black and decorated with lotus flowers in silver and gold on scrolling vines with an inscription beneath stating it was donated in the New Year of Kenmu 2 (1334). The lacquer, originally black, has oxidized to a mellow chocolate color. It is 33.5 x 18.5 x 13 cm (13 x 7-1/2 x 5 inches). As one may imagine there is a great deal of wrinkling of the lacquer from shrinkage, some losses and much wear to the edges. Nevertheless, the box is stable and shows no damage from breaks, cracks or poor handling.
1334 was the first year of the Nanbokucho era following the collapse of the Kamakura government which sparked a rift in the Imperial succession, ushering in an era of internecine warfare which would last intermittently until the reunification of Japan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th century and subsequent establishment of the Edo Shogunate in the early 17th century.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1940 item #1440882 (stock #MOR8083)
The Kura
$850.00
A beautiful lacquered wooden box and tray carved with leaves on an orange peel ground signed Tamehiko on bottom and dated 1932, enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 14 x 11 x 8 cm (5-1/2 x 4-1/4 x 3-1/4 inches) and is in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1440649 (stock #MOR8082)
The Kura
sold, with thanks!
A pair of red lacquered sake cups with chrysanthemum and pampas grass (respectively) on ornate stands decorated with golden landscapes enclosed in the original compartmentalized wooden box titled Sansui Maki-e Hai-ki ittsui (One Set of Sake Stands with Lacquer Landscapes). They are 4-1/4 inches (11 cm) square at the feet, and in excellent condition dating from the early 20th century.
All Items : Artists : Lacquer : Pre 2000 item #1440553 (stock #MOR8080)
The Kura
Sold, Thank you!
Gold willows drape over the highly unusual silver-tinged blue lacquer surface of this water container by Tonami Sosai II enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Uwajima Nuri Seigin Yanagi Te-oke Mizusashi (Silver Blue Uwajima Lacquer, Willow, Bucket Shaped Mizusashi). The outside is a shimmering blue tinged with silver, while inside is black covered in powdered silver flake. A striking combination. The willow is delicately depicted in tendrils of gold about the circumference, on the lid and on the handle with highlights on the trunk of kirigane applied gold. It is 22.5 cm (8-3/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
Tonami Sosai II (1918-2004) was born in Kanazawa city, , although raised in the world of lacquer ware, began his artistic career studying Nihonga (Japanese style painting) under Hatakeyama Kinsei. In 1950 he returned to the family business, studying under his father the first generation Sosai as well as his cousin Oba Shogyo who would later be named a living National Treasure for Maki-e. He exhibited with the National Traditional Crafts Exhibition among others, and received the Nihon Kogeikai Kaicho prize there in 1984.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1960 item #1440490 (stock #MOR7831)
The Kura
Price on Request
Plovers of carved mother of pearl shell and powdered gold soar over silver foam capped crashing waves surrounding a led rock inlayed into the surface of this spectacular lacquered box exhibited at the 3rd Aichi Prefectural Crafts Exhibition by Sakamoto Kakutaro wrapped in silk and enclosed in the original wooden box. Hira-maki-e, Taka-Maki-e, Kirigane, inlays of lead and shell on a nashiji ground, with silver fitted rims. It contains a black lacquered ink stone with gold edges and round water dropper which are set into a black lacquered “raft” sprinkled lightly with silver flakes. The box is 23.5 x 20.5 x 4 cm (9-1/4 x 8 x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition. The artist’s name card is affixed to the lid of the box, and contained within are a card reading: 3rd Aichi Prefectural Craft Exhibition (Dai San Kai Aichi Ken Kogeihin Tenrankai) as well as a stamp noting the item number from the exhibition (The exhibition was held in 1926). The same stamps are affixed to the bottom corner of the lacquer box.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1800 item #1440440 (stock #MOR8078)
The Kura
$2,750.00
Sale Pending
An early Edo period (17th to 18th century) small censer of bun shape covered in tight nashiji lacquere decorated with two soaring phoenixes lined with copper featuring a chrysanthemum petal pierced lid, both motifs symbols of Imperial grandeur. The hoya (lid) appears to be heavily tarnished silver. It is 7.5 cm (3 inches) diameter and in excellent overall condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1440439 (stock #MOR8077)
The Kura
$850.00
Sale Pending
An ornate sake kettle of hexagonal scallops inlayed with auspicious symbols in mother of pearl and featuring a gold lined shoulder of powdered gold nashiji in the center of which rests a red lacquered lid emblazoned with an oak leaf and the mitsudomoe crest and featuring a jade glass finial. The scalloped shape is one of the most challenging for a lacquer artist. It is in overall excellent condition and comes enclosed in a period custom made wooden box dated the third month of Meiji 25 (1893). Including the spout the body is it is 21 x 18 cm. There is a chip in the glass finial, and inside one may see a repair in a different shade of lacquer, with a bubble in the lacquer on the bottom (see close-up photos).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1440413 (stock #MOR8076)
The Kura
$775.00
Sale Pending
Mother of pearl flowers rise among the large leaves of a paulownia tree on this small lacquer box and tray dating from the early 20th century enclosed in the original signed wooden box by Yoshida Rissai. The workmanship is flawless, with a fine sense of depth brought on by the mother of pearl lined with gold powder and set against a ground of golden mist on black. Inside is a rich, red tinged nashiji ground. The box is 14 x 11 x 5.5 cm (5-1/2 x 4-1/4 x 2-1/4 inches) and both box and tray are in excellent condition.
Yoshida Rissai (1867-1935) was born the son of a Nara painter attached to some of Japan’s holiest sites, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Todaiji Temple, and Kofukuji Temple. In his home town of Nara was the Shosoin Treasure house which housed the 8th century Imperial art Collection. The Meiji government, which promoted the protection and production of arts and crafts as part of its modern nation policies, held the Nara Expo at which the Shosoin treasure was also exhibited and this until then largely unseen collection of 8,000 items inspired generations of artist to delve into the past and look at the history of crafts. The repair and imitation as well as restoration began in earnest in the early Meiji era. One of the names that rose to the top for both restoration of the imperial treasures as well as research and duplication of techniques was Yoshida Rissai, and it was he who brought the name of "Nara Lacquer Ware" to the world. His brother Kyusai also became a lacquer artist, but took his mother’s surname Kitamura. This box made by Rissai appears to have come from the collection of the Kitamura side of the family, Signed made by Rissai of the Southern Capitol inside, with the name Kitamura Noritsugu as the owner written outside the box. The descendant of this family Kitamura Shosai became the first Living National Treasure for Raden lacquer inlay in 1999.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1440127 (stock #MOR6841)
The Kura
$1,200.00
A 16th to 17th century (Momoyama to early Edo period) candle-stick of vine or root set onto a hollow carved base and covered in black and red lacquer with a metal stud and drip pan. It is 11 inches (28 cm) tall and in overall fine condition, with wear typical of centuries of use.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1700 item #1439988 (stock #MOR8075)
The Kura
$3,000.00
A Momoyama to early Edo (17th century) Akoda Koro incense burner of wood with double walled bronze chamber covered with a lattice-work gilt-copper hoya lid. The fluted wood core has been covered in black lacquer and decorated in the Kodai-ji maki-e technique with fruiting trees and pines. The metal fittings were originally gilded with gold, much has been worn away from handling but remains visible about the shoulder and inside the lid. It is 4 inches (10.3 cm) diameter and in overall fine condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1439752 (stock #MOR8074)
The Kura
$1,200.00
A 19th century wooden stand perfect for raising a koro off the tatami in an alcove cut from a single stump of wood lacquered and decorated with Takamaki-e raised lacquer designs signed Chokushinsai. All about grape clusters hang among leaves populated with a squirrel. Mostly performed in raised lacquer, there are also bits of mother of pearl inlay. It is roughly 26 cm diameter. There is an old crack which has been re-lacquered and a number of small losses (see close-up photos) but overall, very presentable.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1439751 (stock #TCR6945)
The Kura
$750.00
A pair of Toyoraku style (Horaku) pottery hi-ire braziers with crackled pale glaze inside, outside covered in black lacquer, one inlayed with mother of pearl plum blossoms, the other gold and red lacquered chrysanthemum. The Chrysnathemum is acompanued by the Imperial Nobori-Kiri Crest on a soft, chocolate brown lacquer with gold rim, the plum shimmering purple on midnight black. One is slightly larger than the other, averaging about 12 cm (4-5/8 inches) tall. There is one slight abrasion in the lacquer (see close-up photos) otherwise are in excellent condition. They come wrapped in antique clouth pouches in an age darkened wooden box titled Sogen-yaki Hi-ire. Watanabe Sogen (1792-1871) was a member of the Owari provincial Lords household who married the daughter of 11th Urasenkei Master Gengensai. He created pottery and lacquer ware in the high styles of Kyoto, employing such luminaries as Raku Ryonyu, Uemura Hakuo and Hirasawa Kuro in his temple based studio.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1439444 (stock #MOR8073)
The Kura
Price on Request
Exotic fruits rise in three dimensions from the surface of this circular box by Ikeda Taishin containing a writing stone and water dropper in the shape of a cluster of peaches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York holds a stacking lacquer box by Taishin also decorated with autumnal fruits. The upper surface is performed in an orange-peel texture of rust color, the inside and bottom nashiji gold flake on black. Lacquered wood with gold, silver, black, green, yellow and red takamaki-e, hiramaki-e. It is 18 cm (7 inches) diameter and in overall excellent condition, enclosed in a kiri-wood custom made collectors box.
Ikeda Taishin (1825-1903) was the most accomplished apprentice of Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891), with several works exhibited at the 1873 Vienna World’s Fair cemented his fame and was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy (Teishitsu Gigei-in) in 1896. Work by him is held in the collection of the Imperial Household, the aforementioned Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The V&A in London, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, the Walters Museum in Philadelphia, and the Edoardo Chiossone Museum among others.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1940 item #1439336 (stock #MOR8072)
The Kura
$400.00
A Pottery dish covered in cream colored lacquer decorated with a silver rim and scattered silver plum blossoms enclosed in the original signed wooden box dating from the early 20th century (Taisho to early Showa era). The writing is very difficult to discern, it would appear to be titled Ume-moyo Kashiki, however the first line is challenging. The bowl is 19 cm (7-1/2 inches) diameter 5.5 cm (2-1/4 inches) tall and in fine condition, with some wear to the rim. Inside the writing is also not easy to read, the stamp reads Nihon Kogei Shokai no in (Seal of the Japan Crafts Association).