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 : Porcelain : Pre 1950 item #1414399 (stock #TCR7030)
The Kura
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An exquisite vase in flambe red tinged with deep lavender by Kiyomizu Rokubei VI enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Koto Beni Ichirinsashi (Flambe Bean Red Single flower vessel). The form is both elegant and understated, a trademark of the Japanese aesthetic, while harkening back to Sino-roots. It is 9-1/2 inches (24.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
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 (1875-1959) 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.
Rokubei VI 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 took over the family name in 1945. He was subsequently 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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1414281 (stock #TCR7024)
The Kura
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Made for Kaiseki (tradtional Japanese food service), this is a unique set of ten antique handmade dishes in the shape of bells, the hollow pierced lids jingling with a ball inside when removed. Outside the dark red clay is covered with a smattering of ash glaze, inside is a crisp pale glaze, a pleasure for the eyes and great for offsetting the colorful small tidbits of food in a traditional Kaiseki meal. The jingling of the bell inside the lid equal to the joy of opening it to reveal the hidden morsels. Glaze obscures the artist seal on the base. They come enclosed in a compartmentalized wooden box titled Nanban-Utsushi Suzugata Chinmi Ire, Jukyaku (A Southern Style set of 10 Bell-shaped Small Dishes). They date from the Taisho to early Showa era. Each is roughly 3 inches (7.5 cm) diameter and all are in excellent condition. Narrowly, Nanban refers to pottery of Okinawa, Tanegashima and other southern Islands near Japan. On a broad term it has come to be applied to non-Japanese pottery from throughout South Asia, including Southern China, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and other places trade occurred (officially or unofficially) in pre-Meiji Japan.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1920 item #1412766 (stock #MOR7016)
The Kura
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The great Tang Poet Du Fu (712-770) affectionately coddles a goose chick in his left hand, his bamboo staff low and seemingly forgotten as he ponders the beloved creature in his palm. Exquisitely rendered, it is roughly 16 inches (40 cm) tall and signed on back with an engraved signature. Du Fu's poetry has made a profound impact on Japanese literature, especially on the literature from the Muromachi period and on scholars and poets in the Edo period, including Matsuo Basho, the very greatest of all haiku poets. It is said that when Basho died, a copy of Du Fu's poetry was found among his few possessions.
Yamamoto Junmin (1882 – 1962) learned the metal arts under Katori Hotsuma (Hozuma) and Asakura Fumio at the Tokyo University of Art. Living in Nara, the ancient capital, he was one of the finest metal workers of his age, carrying on the Edo-doki tradition through the early Showa era while also incorporating many ideas and innovations from Art Deco into hos oeuvre. His work was exhibited with the Teiten/Bunten National Exhibitions many times before the second world war, and with the Nitten National Exhibition post-war. The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto holds two works by this important bronze artist, as well as the Metal Art Museum Hikarinotani.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1412657 (stock #TCR7013)
The Kura
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A spectacular pair of vases by Ito Tozan I decorated with the imperial chrysanthemum in gold between soaring phoenix; symbols of the Japanese imperial family. Both come in the original (tired) silk pouch in a compartmentalized wooden box signed by the artist. Each is roughly 6 inches tall and in excellent condition, dating from the late 19th to early 20th century (later Meiji to Taisho period).
Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III and Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prized at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title, and like his teacher Denshichi, created the dishes from which the Imperial family would eat. He worked very closely with his adopted son, Ito Tozan II (1871-1937).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1412482 (stock #TCR7009)
The Kura
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A crab crawls among the awa plants burgeoning with seed on the side of this Kyo-yaki vessel by Takahashi Dohachi with the painting performed by Itsuun which appears to be dated 1836 in the 60 year lunar cycle. It comes enclosed in a period wooden box annotated by Dohachi VI. It is 10-3/4 inches (27 cm) tall and in excellent condition. The box inscription reads: Itsuun Kani Ga (Image of Crab by Itsuun) Sendai Dohachi Zo Kabin (Vase made by previous generation Dohachi) and inside: Kachutei Rokusei Dohachi Kan (Attested by Kachutei Dohachi VI).
The only Itsuun I know of is Kinoshita Itsuun (1798-1866); a trained doctor and nanga artist of the late Edo period from Nagasaki. Very popular in his home town, he also went to Kyoto where he learned the Shijo and Yamato-e styles of painting and would have associated there with the likes of Dohachi in the literati circles.
The Dohachi Kiln was established in Awataguchi by a retainer of Kameyama fief, Takahashi Dohachi I around 1760, and the name Dohachi was brought to the forefront of porcelain and ceramic production by the second generation head of the family who attained an imperial following, and grew to be one of the most famous potters of the Later Edo period to come from Kyoto. Ninnami Dohachi (1783-1855) was born the second son of Takahashi Dohachi I. Following the early death of his older brother he succeeded the family name, opening a kiln in the Gojo-zaka area of Kyoto (at the foot of Kiyomizu temple) in 1814. Well known for research into and perfection of ancient Chinese and Korean forms long held in high esteem in Japan, and at the same time working to expand the family reputation within tea circles. Along with contemporaries Aoki Mokubei and Eiraku Hozen became well known as a master of porcelain as well as Kenzan and Ninsei ware. Over the following decades he would be called to Takamatsu, Satsuma, Kishu and other areas to consult and establish kilns for the Daimyo and Tokugawa families as well as Nishi-Honganji Temple. An exhibition was held at the Suntory Museum in 2014 centering on this artist, and he is also held in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Kyoto National Museum among many, many others. The third generation (1811-1879) was known as Kachutei Dohachi and continued the work of his father, producing an abundance of Sencha tea ware and other porcelain forms, maintaining the highest of standards and ensuring the family place in the annals of Kyoto ceramics.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1940 item #1411801 (stock #ANR7004)
The Kura
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The village headman aims his arrows at the moon to dispel the evil brought on by a solar eclipse, the village women in the background standing in prayer. This scene was painted by Higuchi Tomimaro for show at the Seikosha Exhibition held in Osaka in 1938. It is an excellent look into the world of the Ainu, a native culture to Northern Japan now lost to history. He has done a wonderful job conveying the texture of the clothing, and hidden behind the grayish background is textures of floral life, only visible by shadow, an interesting and unusual technique. Pigment on paper in a simple black lacquered wooden frame with elegant metal hardware. Each screen is 186 x 169.5 cm (73 x 67 inches). They have been completely remounted without any over-painting, and are ready for the next hundred years.
Higuchi Tomimaro (1898-1981) was born in Osaka and studied under Kitano Tsunetomi from around 1910. He began exhibiting with the Bunten National Exhibition in 1915, with his painting Tsuyasan, followed by works in 1917,18 and 19. He would then switch to the Inten, exhibiting there from 1923 to 1930. At this time, he began producing Hanga woodblock prints along with Takehisa Yumeji for the Senryu magazine. In 1925 he would be accepted into the Shotoku Taishi Exhibition. In the later 20s he fell into the circle of Nishiyama Suisho and switched to the Seikosha Salon as well as moving back to exhibiting with the reorganized Teiten National Exhibition. Much lauded in his lifetime, he is remembered for Bijin-ga images of beauties and genre scenes in his youth, and Buddhist imagery in his later years. Work is held in the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, the Osaka Nakanoshima Musuem among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1409038 (stock #TCR6989)
The Kura
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A rare bowl by Ninnami Dohachi from the Sangama kiln dating from the later Edo period wrapped in a silk pouch and enclosed in a fine custom made Kiri-wood collectors box. Deeply impressed into the base is the six sided Sangama kiln mark. It is 5-1/2 x 5 x 3 inches (13 x 12.5 x 9 cm) and is in excellent condition.
Ninnami Dohachi II and his son (the future Dohachi III) were invited by the local lord Matsudaira to produce pottery at the Sangama kiln in Sanuki Kuni on the island of Shikoku in 1832. He would return later, agan with his son as well as his apprentice Siefu Yohei, in 1852. This is part of a large collection of antique pottery from Kyushu gathered in the early to mid 20th century. A note inside the box states this was collected in June of 1938.
The Dohachi Kiln was established in Awataguchi by a retainer of Kameyama fief, Takahashi Dohachi I around 1760, and the name Dohachi was brought to the forefront of porcelain and ceramic production by the second generation head of the family who attained an imperial following, and grew to be one of the most famous potters of the Later Edo period to come from Kyoto. Ninnami Dohachi (1783-1855) was born the second son of Takahashi Dohachi I. Following the early death of his older brother he succeeded the family name, opening a kiln in the Gojo-zaka area of Kyoto (at the foot of Kiyomizu temple) in 1814. Well known for research into and perfection of ancient Chinese and Korean forms long held in high esteem in Japan, and at the same time working to expand the family reputation within tea circles. Along with contemporaries Aoki Mokubei and Eiraku Hozen became well known as a master of porcelain as well as Kenzan and Ninsei ware. Over the following decades he would be called to Takamatsu, Satsuma, Kishu and other areas to consult and establish kilns for the Daimyo and Tokugawa families as well as Nishi-Honganji Temple. An exhibition was held at the Suntory Museum in 2014 centering on this artist, and he is also held in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Kyoto National Museum among many, many others. The third generation (1811-1879) was known as Kachutei Dohachi and continued the work of his father, producing an abundance of Sencha tea ware and other porcelain forms, maintaining the highest of standards and ensuring the family place in the anals of Kyoto ceramics well into the Meiji period.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1408940 (stock #L079)
The Kura
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The golden orb shines out like the light of Buddhism from between the dark clouds on this exquisite 19th century image by Wada Gozan, priest of Jinko-in Temple. Ink and gold-pigment on silk in a patterned silk border with wood rollers in a period kiri-wood box titled Tsuki no ga Yokomono Ippuku (1 wide painting of moon) Wada Gozan koto (of Wada Gozan), annotated by Kuten. It is 25 x 48-1/2 inches (63.5 x 123.5 cm) and is in overall fine condition, with a minor wrinkle in the lower border. Wada Gozan (the art name of priest Gesshin 1800-1870) was a close associate of poet and artist Otagaki Rengetsu and they were known to collaborate on many occasions. She spent much of her final years in his temple Jinko-in.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1408935 (stock #TCR6988)
The Kura
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Dark Iron glaze covers this grinning bull with a pierced silver farmers hat resting on his back covering the silver rimmed chamber for burning incense. It comes enclosed in a custom made collectors Kiri-wood box titled Ko-Seto Ushi Koro. It is roughly 9 x 5 x 4 inches (22 x 12 x 10 cm) and is in fine condition dating likely from the mid 19th century (Bakumatsu era).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1408607 (stock #TCR6982)
The Kura
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A superb example of the mastery of Bizen Saiku-mono sculptures by Nishimura Shunko dating to the pre-war era. The musculature and bone structure of the creature is clearly visible, and it wears a cloak of ash glaze like fur, the tail actually covered in dry “goma” textured ash, and the lower extremities showing a fine assortment of Hi-iro flame colors on the raw clay. Stylistically there appears to be some influence of the pottery technique of Okinawan Shisa (lions). This is very likely, as the potteries of Kyushu and Okinawa held sway over the Mingei movement originating in the 1920s and 30s, when Shunko was at the peak of his abilities. The beast is roughly 10 inches (25 cm) tall and in excellent condition. It is signed Shunko Saku (Made by Shunko) inside the hollow body followed by the artists double mountain kiln symbol.
Nishimura Shunko (Yasujiro, 1886-1953) was, along with Kaneshige Toyo and Mimura Tokei one of the three pillars of Bizen pottery during the first half of the 20th century, and one credited with saving it from extinction. Born in Kyoto, he studied Japanese Painting before moving to study Awata Yaki pottery techniques under Aoyama Shunko (from whom he received his name) and then under the first Suwa Sozan. He moved to Inbe (Okayama Prefecture, home of Bizen) in 1909, where he established a kiln and became known for saiku-mono or ceramic sculptures. His genius was quickly recognized, and his works were collected by the Imperial family and given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. He served as a ceramics instructor for two years in Korea during the Taisho period. He also taught potters like Urakami Zenji (1914-2006). He was named a bearer of intangible cultural properties for his lifes work in 1942. Several works by him are held in the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1408552 (stock #TCR6981)
The Kura
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A fabulous large porcelain vase by Daimaru Hoppo (Hokuho) enclosed in the original signed and compartmentalized wooden box complete with a rosewood base. The vase is a perfect example of the Sinophile aesthetic that permeated Japanese art in the early 20th century. The simplified form rises from to frets decorated with stylized cicada under a belt of archaic figures and yotsu-domoe (yin-yang) symbols. It is 14 inches (35 cm) tall plus the base and is in excellent condition.
Hoppo (also called Hokuho) would have been rated in the top 10 porcelain artist of Kyoto, along with Suwa Sozan, Ito Suiko, Ito Tozan, Miyanaga Tozan, Takahashi Dohachi, Seifu Yohei, Kiyomizu Rokubei, Miura Chikusen and Kiyomizu Zoroku, all artists active from the Meiji through the early Showa eras. He is best remembered for his Chinese forms and Sencha thin tea ware. Born in Ishikawa in 1879, he was initially trained in the Kutani tradition before moving to Kyoto in 1899 to study porcelain throwing and decoration there. He also spent several years in China where he became adept at the aforementioned Sencha aesthetic. Daimaru Hokuho II (Tatsuo, b. 1926) studied under both his father and Kiyomizu Rokubei V and VI. He exhibited frequently with the Nitten National Exhibition, where he would serve as a judge.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1910 item #1408011 (stock #TCR6977)
The Kura
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A very unusual vase by Teishitsu Gigei-In (Imperial Art Academy Member) Ito Tozan I enclosed in the original signed wooden box showing decidedly Art Nouveau styling. It is 20 x 8 x 32 cm (8 x 3 x 12-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition.
Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III and Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prized at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title, and like his teacher Denshichi, created the dishes from which the Imperial family would eat. He worked very closely with his adopted son, Ito Tozan II (1871-1937).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1401496 (stock #TCR6944)
The Kura
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A Bizen pottery incense burner by important 20th century artist Nishimura Shunko enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Bizen Nemureru Shishi Koro. Very much in this famous artist style, the recumbent creature appears squat, all features elongated, while a cub riding on its back serves as the lid for the incense chamber. It is signed on the base Shunko-saku and bears his double mountain mark. The mark is visible in the 1927 booklet Bizen Toko (copies included) The koro is 7 inches ((17.5 cm) long and in excellent condition.
Nishimura Shunko (Yasujiro, 1886-1953) was, along with Kaneshige Toyo and Mimura Tokei one of the three pillars of Bizen pottery during the first half of the 20th century, and one credited with saving it from extinction. Born in Kyoto, he studied Japanese Painting before moving to study Awata Yaki pottery techniques under Aoyama Shunko (from whom he received his name) and then under the first Suwa Sozan. He moved to Inbe (Okayama Prefecture, home of Bizen) in 1909, where he established a kiln and became known for saiku-mono or ceramic sculptures. His genius was quickly recognized, and his works were collected by the Imperial family and given as gfts to foreign dignitaries. He served as a ceramics instructor for two years in Korea during the Taisho period. He also taught potters like Urakami Zenji (1914-2006). He was named a bearer of intangible cultural properties for his lifes work in 1942. Several works by him are held in the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1400452 (stock #TCR6922)
The Kura
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A refined set of 5 later Edo Sake cups in a hybrid E-gorai style from the Kosobe kiln of Igarashi Shinbei decorated with pale blue designs (gnarled plum trees?) under thick cream colored glaze on very thinly potted clay blended with shiseki for great effect. This is likely the work of the second or third generation Shinbei, both known for their Korai-Utsushi (Korean style) wares. Each cup is 2-1/2 inches (6.5 cm) diameter. They are in surprisingly good condition, with no cracks. There are a few losses to glaze at the rims typical of sake cups (Kampai!) and one has a chip in the foot visible when the cup is upside down. Finding such a delicate set in such good condition from the Edo period is exceedingly rare.
The Kosobe kiln was established in Takatsuki, along the route between Osaka and Kyoto by Igarashi Shinbei sometime around 1790, The first generation (1750-1829) was known for Raku wares, Tea Utensils and Utsushi wares among more common household items. The second generations (Shinzo, 1791-1851) is remembered for Takatori, Karatsu, Korai and other continental styles. Shingoro, the third-generation head of the family (1833-1882) continued in that line, but secured a route to use Shigaraki clay and blended that with his local clays. He was known for Mishima and E-gorai styles. Into the Meiji period, the 4th generation head Yasojiro (1851-1918) saw the kiln close due to health problems of his successor Shinbei V, (Eitaro) in the late Meiji or early Taisho period.