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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1980 item #1418930 (stock #MOR7100)
The Kura
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Sakura blossoms begin to open among the draping branches of a weeping willow soughing in the breeze on this beautiful lacquer box by Inami Kirokusai enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Wajima Nuri Soshun Maki-e Suzuri Bako (Ink Stone Box of Early Spring Design from Wajima). The design is performed over highly polished black, the interior in nashiji with pine saplings in raised design around the ink stone and water dropper. It is 24.5 x 13 x 3 cm (10 x 5 x 1-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition.
The four generations of the Inami family spanning the Meiji to contemporary were the subject of a major retrospective at the Ishikawa Wajima Lacquer Museum in 2013.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1950 item #1418809 (stock #MOR7098)
The Kura
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Mullberry wood grain roils like ripples in the sand forming the dark basin of this large tea service tray over which grows a single branch of fruit bearing grapes. It is signed in red lacquer beneath and enclosed in the original signed wooden box by Kinjo Ikkokusai. The tray is 51 x 34 cm (20 x 13-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition. On the underside of the box is a seal reading Kuwa Kobon and gives the collection name Morishita Shozo (Held by Morishita).
Ikkokusai I (1777-1852) was born in Ise, Mie prefecture, and was trained in the lacquer arts in Osaka. His talent was recognized and in 1811 he was taken as an official artist of the Tokugawa Clan, relatives of the Shogun and Feudal lords of Owari near present day Nagoya. All three of his sons would take the name Ikkokusai, His first son, (true name Nakamura Yoshiyuki), would settle in Osaka, and works he made were presented at the first National Industrial Art Exhibition (Naikoku Sangyo Hakurankai) in the early Meiji period. The third son (Sawagi Tsunesuke, 1822-1875) would remain and work in Nagoya until his death. The second son (Nakamura Issaku) would leave the Owari province to further his studies, traveling throughout Japan and developing the Takamorie technique of built up layers of lacquer creating nearly 3-dimensional works. He would become the carrier of the name, and after a sojourn in Hagi (Choshu), moved to Hiroshima in 1843 where he would pass on his techniques and experience to Kinoshita Kentaro (1829-1915). It was Kentaro who would officially become the third head of the family and who brought the name to the fore with his dedication to Takamorie lacquering. Kinjo Ikkokusai IV (1876-1961) continued to develop the method with new materials and designs. The family is currently under the 7th generation (b. 1965) who was named an important cultural property of Hiroshima Prefecture in 2011.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Tea Articles : Pre 1950 item #1418698 (stock #MOR7095)
The Kura
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A halo surrounds the emaciated figure of a Rakan (Arhat or Arahat) seated atop a stone draped in billowing robes clutching a nyoi scepter in his bony left fist. The holy figure is chiseled and polished with extreme care and attention to detail. The detail in the carving is striking, as bamboo is notoriously hard and difficult to work. Setting it apart from most bamboo carving is a complex pattern of extremely fine chiseled texture throughout. It comes enclosed in a wooden box signed Raizan and dated Showa 16 (1941). It is 19.5 x 6.5 cm (7-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition.
The Sago is a decorative spoon used in preparation of Steeped tea. For more see the definitive book Tea of the Sages: The Art of Sencha, by Patricia J Graham (1998).
In Buddhist lore the Rakan is one who has broken the chain of re-birth and overcome the three poisons of desire, hatred and ignorance. It is a popular theme in both Chinese and Japanese art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1800 item #1416974 (stock #MOR7085)
The Kura
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An exquisite wooden plate in cinnabar lacquer over black wrapped in a chord bound cloth bag end enclosed in an age blackened kiri-wood box dating from the Edo period. The surface of brilliant red has been worn through with handling revealing the black beneath about the rim and edges. It is 9 inches (23 cm) diameter and in excellent condition. The bottom is a brown tinged black (the brown is a product of oxidation, inherent only with age) upon which are written two characters in red. The box is titled Negoro Nuri Bon (Negoro lacquered Tray) and inside the box lid is written the name of the owner: ?hekitei Zo-gu (Collection of ?hekitei). The first character is too abbreviated to make a definitive reading.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1416887 (stock #TCR7084)
The Kura
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Rivulets of green glaze descend all sides of this sublime storage jar, the bottom raw red Tamba clay dating from the Edo period. About the rim are four “mimi” ears for tying down the wooden bung. The base is slightly concave and burnt to a rock like texture. The vessel is 12 inches (30 cm) tall, 11-1/2 inches (29 cm) diameter and in excellent condition. Tamba is considered as one of Japan’s six famous ancient kilns, along with Seto, Tokoname, Echizen, Shigaraki and Bizen. It is known for a solemn, austere atmosphere, and for the beautiful green pine-ash glaze. The origins are purported to be in the late Heian period, when it was called Onohara ware. Traditionally it is coil formed, or turned counter clockwise on a wheel. Early pieces were fired in anagama, until the Momoyama period, when the advent of the climbing kiln offered increased production and possibilities and hire firing temperatures.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1416716 (stock #TCR7080)
The Kura
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Feather strokes of oil glaze stand like plumage on this exquisite Art-Deco era vase by Kanae Shokoku I enclosed in the original signed wooden box dating from the early 20th century. It is 45 cm (17-1/2 inches) tall 25 cm (10 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. The first Shokoku (1899-1965) was born on Awaji Island in the pristine inland sea and was apprenticed to Kiyomizu Rokubei V at the age of ten. His work was selected for exhibition with the Teiten National Exhibition consistently through the pre-war years, and he was one of the first potters to be named a bearer of important cultural properties (Gijutsu Hozon Sakka) in 1941. His son, Tetsuo (1927-1997), took the reins upon is death and the family is currently headed by Kanae Shokoku III (Michiaki, b. 1948).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1960 item #1416296 (stock #TCR7078)
The Kura
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Ancient script filled with primitive markings decorates this unusual vase signed Tosen enclosed in the original wooden box dated 1959. This is one which perfectly espouses the artistic trends of the post-war era. It is 12 inches (30 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1416264 (stock #MOR7076)
The Kura
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Autumn flowers and dried grasses in red, silver and gold rise up before clouds of golden mist on the highly polished Ro-iro surface of this poem card (Tanzaku) container. Inside, golden suzumushi crickets in striking detail sing a lonely autumnal lullaby. The artist has used a variety of techniques, with Hira-maki-e, Taka-maki-e, Nashiji, Kirigane applied gold leaf squares and if you look carefully you can see iridescent blue mother of pearl buds glinting among the leaves. It is 38.5 x 8.5 x 4.5 cm (15 x 3-1/2 x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition and of the highest quality.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1416143 (stock #TCR7074)
The Kura
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An odd shaped koro representing rolling hills and snow laden trees surrounding a small shrine forming the center (and chimney) of the Incense burners lid. It is decorated in traditional brilliant Ninsei colors of green and yellows with iron glaze bones and gold highlights, and is signed Ninsei on the base, stamped Makuzu within the footring. The Koro is 6 inches (15 cm) diameter, 6-1/2 inches (17 cm) tall and in excellent condition. It comes in the original age darkened signed wooden box cut from cross grain Momi (fir).
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 : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1416033 (stock #MOR7072)
The Kura
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A decidedly different version of this theme, a Festive carved wooden Tai (Red Snapper) fish with removable side for sashimi coated inside in gold with bone teeth and inlayed bone eyes. The craftsman ahs gone to great lengths to make this as realistic as possible, from the textures of the skin to the folds in the fins and coloring. Unusually, most dishes in this vein are one sided, however this is equally realistically carved on both sides. It is 47 x 21 x 6 cm (18-1/2 x 8 x 2-1/2 inches and is in overall excellent, antique condition.
It may seem strange, but the red snapper is a representative good luck "charm." There are two reasons. One, the pronunciation of red snapper (Tai) is the same as the end of the word for "fortunate" or "worthy of celebration" (Medetai), and two, the red snapper is known for living a much longer life than other fish and is seen as a symbol of long life. In fact, the deity Ebisu-sama is most often depicted holding a red snapper under one arm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1415912 (stock #TCR7070)
The Kura
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A very rare work by Suda Seika featuring a long armed monkey climbing over the rim in raw terracotta clay, contrasting brilliantly against the blue splashed white porcelain. It is 17.5 x 20 x 10.5 cm (7 x 8 x 4 inches) and comes enclosed in a period kiri-wood box. The first generation Suda Seika (1862-1927) was born the son of a merchant in Kanazawa, then part of the Kaga fief. He graduated the Ishikawa prefectural Industrial Ceramic Research Center in 1880 specializing in decoration, and moved to Kyoto the same year. In 1883 he entered the Kutani Ceramics Company, and was elevated to head of decoration two years later. In 1891, he established the Nishiki kiln in Yamashiro Onsen (Hotsprings) of Kaga city, and in 1906 opened a second climbing kiln which bore the name Seika. In 1915 he served as a mentor to the young upstart who would later become known as Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959). The second generation took the reins in the mid 1920s, passing them onto the third generation around 1970.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Devotional Objects : Pre 1700 item #1415417 (stock #MOR7055)
The Kura
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A set of early wood panels, once doors on a votive shrine, painted with guardian shishi lions (Also called Fu-dogs) in polychrome colors, much worn with time. The doors are of clear grained hinoki (Japanese cypress) and have shrunk horizontally over the centuries, evidenced by the ari (wooden support) which is inset into them. On back one can see clearly the silhouette of the original metal-work. Momoyama to early Edo period, they are 37.5 x 47 cm (15 x 18-1/2 inches) each and would be fabulous framed as a set or individually.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1980 item #1415275 (stock #MOR7053)
The Kura
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A serene image of the Goddess of Mercy Kannon found in a natural black stone from the Seta River inset into a hand carved hard-wood base and enclosed in a kiri-wood collectors box titled simply Setagawa-ishi (Seta River Stone). 19.5 cm (7-3/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1414859 (stock #TCR7047)
The Kura
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Cranes soar before the red orb of the sun over festive young pines on these five ceramic bowls covered outside in red and black lacquer from the Nagoya studio of Toyoraku (also Horaku) dating from the mid to later 19th century, late Edo to Meiji eras. This set is exceptional! It is enclosed in a fine compartmentalized collectors kiri-wood box titled Owari Toyoraku Yaki Nuri Asahi-Tsuru-Matsu Suimono Chawan Go Kyaku (Five Owari Toyoraku Pottery Lacquered Soup Bowls Decorated with Pines, Cranes and Rising Sun). The red circle created by the lid is the rising sun, the golden crane sailing before it, and on the black bowl are young pines, symbolizing strength fortune.
The Toyoraku tradition began in the mid 1700s, however it was the fourth generation head of the household (Toyosuke IV 1813~1858) who moved the kiln to Kamimaezu in Nagoya and began applying lacquer and Maki-e to the works. He was succeeded by his son, Toyosuke V (d. 1885) who passed the kiln to his own son Toyosuke VI, (d. 1917), who was highly lauded in his lifetime and made pottery on order of the Meiji emperor, his pieces being selected for international exhibition. However from the later Meiji he concentrated on Raku-ware, and the lacquer tradition mostly disappeared from the family ouvre.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1800 item #1414624 (stock #AOR7041)
The Kura
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A pair of small gold doors depicting Asian Civets (Jakoneko) in a flower strewn garden dating from the early to mid Edo period (17th to 18th century) reminiscent of the famous pair of screens heralding the same image by Kano Yukinobu (Utanosuke, active Muromachi period). The handmade bronze handles are in the shape of hollyhock leaves, intimating connection to the Tokugawa clan, head of the Shogunate. The painted panels are 45 x 28 cm each (17-1/2 x 11 inches), the doors roughly 48.5 x 32 cm (19 x 12-1/2 inches) and are in remarkably good condition considering age. There is some soot built up on the gold surface as might be expected of a painting exposed to wood heat and cooking for two centuries.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1414623 (stock #TCR7040)
The Kura
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Golden bamboo spreads its leaf laden branches about the rim of this aka-e Kinsai bowl by Kyoto potter Takahashi Seizan and decorated by the famous painter Hashimoto Kansetsu enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 6-1/2 inches (17 cm) square and in excellent condition. This is from the personal collection of painter Konoshima Keika (1892-1974). We will be offering more from his household in the near future.
Born into the family of literatus and painter Hashimoto Kaikan in Hyogo, in the heart of central Japan, Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883-1945) was a sinophile and manic painter trained initially by his own eye and studies of Chinese classics, then under Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942). Very opinionated (like his teacher) on the future of Japanese painting, he eventually left Seiho’s Chikujokai school and set out to establish his own painting style which came to be called Shin-Nanga (the New Southern School). He traveled in Europe and extensively in China, and many of his scenes are inspired by that country. His former residence, which he designed entirely himself, is now a museum. Works by this artist are in so many important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MOMAT (Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art), Adachi Museum, Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and the Imperial Household collection among many others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1414484 (stock #TCR7033)
The Kura
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A fabulous large Mingei Tokkuri from the Satsuma region in the shape of an eggplant, glazed in black with crystalline blue about the neck over iron rich glazed clay. Likely from the Hirasa kilns, one of the great Satsuma production centers on the southern Island of Kyushu, 18th to early 19th century. It is 24 cm (10 inches) tall and in overall excellent condition, enclosed in a kiri-wood collectors’ box.
The history of Satsuma ware goes back to the 16th century when Japan fought in the Imjin War, ( also known as the Porcelain War), in which Yoshihiro Shimazu, Lord of the Satsuma domain, brought back eighty Korean potters, giving birth to a new ceramic tradition on Japanese soil. There are four main historical lines of Satsuma ware: Tateno, Ryumonji, Naeshirogawa, Hirasa. They are roughly separated into white wares, black wares and porcelains. Kuro Satsuma (black ware) is made by using combinations of black or brown colored glaze. The body itself is dark brown since the clay contains iron from the local soil enriched by the volcanic ash of Sakurajima.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1960 item #1414446 (stock #L151)
The Kura
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Scratches of ink form a precipitous landscape of jagged mountains on the paper surface of this scroll performed by Fujii Tatsukichi enclosed in a wooden box titled: Painted by the elder Tatsu, One Scroll, Mountain, Annotated by Eichi. It is framed in a silk border terminating in black lacquered rollers. It is 13-1/2 x 59 inches (34 x 149 cm) and is in excellent condition.
Kato Eichi (1899-1987) was a potter from Seto who trained under Tatsukichi. Several pieces by him formerly in the collection of Tatsukichi are now held in the Aichi Prefectural Museum.
Fujii Tatsukichi (1881-1964) could be considered the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the modern concept of design as an art form in Japan, and most certainly an artist not to be defined by one medium. He was born in Hekinan city, Aichi prefecture near Nagoya. He was, along with Kishida Ryusei, Saito Yori and Takamura Kotaro, a founding member of Hyuzan-kai in 1912, the first organization in Japan dedicated to Expressionism in all forms through all mediums. He was one of the most important reformers of the traditional arts in Japan and a pioneer of the modern craft world. His creativity touched nearly every area: embroidery, dyeing, weaving, lacquer, pottery, papermaking, metalwork, woodwork, Painting, calligraphy, woodblock carving and printing. In the 1920s he wrote articles on home crafts for Fujin no Tomo, one of the most widely read women’s magazines of the day. He also held the first professorship of design at the Imperial Art School (mod. Musashino Art University), and his influence was enormous. The museum of contemporary art in Tatsukichi’s birth place, Hekinan, is named after him. In 1932 he established a studio in Obara, where he headed the movement to reinvent the Japanese craft paper industry. That studio (Mufuan) has been moved and is now used as a tea house by Seto City. A major retrospective on his life work travelled japan in 1996 spearheaded by the Tokyo National Museum, “Fuji Tatsukichi, Pioneer of Modern Crafts”.