A group of armed men struggles in a landscape while a helmeted female figure hovers on a cloud above them and points to a distant city that lies across an expanse of water. A man at the left with a green cuirass and cloth knotted about his waist and neck stands apart from the combatants and looks up toward the gesturing woman. Behind him appears a row of sword-wielding men locked in combat, with several casualties lying at their feet. On a hillock in the background a pair of oxen, an orange-gold colored sheep, and a winged dragon may be discerned.
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica) with underglaze painting
In this monumental scroll, Nukina Kaioku has brushed a Chinese poem of his own composition, on the enduring theme of nature as refreshment for the spirit. Note his masterful variation of thick and thin strokes, wet and dry ink, stately and rapid movement.
The verses may be tentatively rendered into English as follows:
Mandarin ducks enjoy the fresh water; their graceful forms glow as they pass through channels in the reeds.
Pushing beyond the thickets [to the open pond], they call to one another again and again in the dawn.
A crimson mist breaks through gaps in the glade, its glow warming hidden nests.
Waking up with nothing to do, [I came here] to playfully row among the spring waves.
This woodwork depicts Daikoku, the god of good fortune, who is associated with farmers. Here he is sitting astride two large barrels of rice, while carrying over his shoulder a large sack, brimming with treasure. In his right hand he holds a magic mallet, said to be able to produce anything the heart desires when struck.
A nude man and woman recline together on the right side of this octagonal plaque. They lay upon the mesh of a net, which is being pulled by a nude male figure seated nearby next to an anvil. Behind the seated man appear two standing figures working at a brick forge. Another pair of figures stands in the middle ground with a row of trees behind them. A diminutive figure mounted on horses appears against a disk in the sky.
A male figure is sitting sideways, his face looking toward the front right. He wears a long black cap, a red under-kimono, a grayish-color jacket with geometric patterns, and right gray color pantaloons. He holds a fan, which is peeking from the right sleeve. The painting is accompanied by calligraphy on the right side of the figure. The painting is mounted on gold brocade with strips of purple and gold brocade on top and bottom of the painting.
Artist Life Dates
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
Handscroll section mounted as a hanging scroll: ink and color on paper
Colorful forms and words arranged on a white background. Block letters display words in a mixed-up format, some upside down, some on their sides. On left side there is a section with smaller writing in yellowish ink.
This silver ball spoon consists of a round bowl joined to a stem composed of a flattened section and a twist stem that terminates in an ornamental ball knop. An incised six-petal flower surrounded by bands of geometric ornament decorates the interior of the bowl. The flattened section of the stem is adorned with vegetal ornament.
Plaque in the form of a snarling lion's face holding a double-edged "severn star" (here only three of the seven stars are depicted as large dots connected by lines) sword in its mouth and ornamented with a red octagon containing the characters for "daqi" surrounded by eight trigrams on its forehead.
The Bremen Town Musicians (Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten), preparatory drawing for print, "Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten," in Alfred Kubin, Abenteuer einer Zeichenfeder (Münich: R. Piper & Co., 1941) #13
To the right, four animals - a donkey, goat, cat, and rooster - appear stacked upon one another in a barely sketched-in window. On the left side, four figures sit at what appears to be a meal in a dinning room, with a soup tureen and various dishes. The image is hastily sketched and few details are absolutely readable, other than basic shapes.
Ornament Print from a series: 'Grottesco in diversche manieren'
Within an elaborate decorative framework consisting of griffins, birds, dogs, and fantastic half man-half beast creatures is a central panel with the image of a nude woman standing on a column holding a victor's wreath in either hand. Approaching for either side is a man in a quadriga holding a banner; each also holds a line that extends up to the wreath in the woman's hand.
Carved wood figure of a quadraped, probably a dog. The figure's back is concave and smooth from use. The figure's back was rubbed with a stick, dowel, or cloth to create friction. A small bell or gong hangs from the figure's neck. Details of the face (nose, mouth eyes) are carved in.
jade cylinder with square shaped exterior and round interior, shallow relief carver on each side, possible representing zoomorphic designs that have been worn off. Dark jade material with many striations and mottles. Come in custom-designed silk box enclosed in a fine hardwood box. The inscription on wooden box indicates that the object was once part of the Duan Fang collection in late 19th century. Duan Fang was a Manchu stateman and reknowned antiquarian. His inscription date the object to the Zhou period. Recent archaeological work suggests that the object was probably made in the late 3rd millennium B.C.E. and remained in circulation by Shang period of the late 2nd millennium B.C.E.
A 'mani' or prayer wheel, a common ritual object used in Tibetan Buddhism: a device made a handle (here a simple wooden stick) supporting a hollow cylindrical drum on a spindle. A small metal weight, attached to one one side of the drum with a cord, allows the wheel to spin with a slight rotation of the wrist. The drum in his case is of hammered metal, with incised patterns of Buddhist auspicious symbols.
An example of a 'mani' or prayer wheel, a common ritual object used in Tibetan Buddhism: a device made a handle (here a wooden stick, with simple incised line designs) supporting a hollow cylindrical drum on a spindle. Here the drum is elaboratedly decorated with rows of inset turquoise stones, as well as a row of Sanskit letters in bone. A small weight of bone attached to one one side of the drum with a metal chain, allows the wheel to spin with a slight rotation of the wrist.