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.
Edo p. Bizen Saikumono Crane Figurine, 1846

Edo p. Bizen Saikumono Crane Figurine, 1846

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1900: Item # 1490965
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A crane rises elegantly from a truncated tree, the legs intricately crafted and the body flowing in a liquid grace. This is Bizen Saikumono, a body of Bizen popular throughout the Edo, Meiji and early 20th centuries. Craftsman carved wild animals, mythical beasts, human figures and many other figures out of the smooth Bizen clay, relying on perfection of form, allowing the firing to add color without overt decoration. This figure is 34 cm (13-1/2 inches) tall and in excellent condition. It comes in a period wooden box dated the 8th month of Koka 3 (1846). As one might expect from something nearly two hundred years old, there is a well done invisible repair in the neck, otherwise is in excellent condition.
The Bizen pottery tradition in Japan dates back over a thousand years, tracing its roots to the Heian period (794-1185). Located in the Okayama Prefecture, the Bizen region has been renowned for its unique style of pottery, characterized by rustic simplicity, earthy textures, and natural aesthetics. The beauty of Bizen pottery lies in its adherence to wood-fired kilns. The firing process is crucial, as it allows for the spontaneous creation of unpredictable patterns and colors on the pottery's surface. These effects result from the interaction of flames, ash, and minerals present in the clay during the high-temperature firing, reaching up to 1300 degrees Celsius. Bizen ware typically features unglazed surfaces, showcasing the natural qualities of the clay itself. The pottery's reddish-brown coloration, derived from the iron-rich clay native to the Bizen region, is emblematic of its organic appeal. Saiku-mono or figurative pottery works have their roots much further back, but were very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Simplicity of form, often inspired by nature and everyday objects, enhances the pottery's charm. Its rustic elegance and understated sophistication resonate with collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.