Fragment of circular gaming piece carved in elephant ivory in high relief. Standing male figure wearing knee-length robe holds sword in right hand and stabs inverted beast in the chest. Forelegs of beast end in hooves; head of beast characterized by large eye and pronounced nostril. Left arm of figure and rear half of the beast missing. Border contains zigzag pattern with bead motif.
This fragmentary gaming piece comes from a set that originally included thirty pieces used for playing a game similar to backgammon. Fifteen pieces depicted episodes from the life of the Old Testament hero Samson, who was renowned for his feats of strength. The opposing fifteen pieces, including the one under discussion, contained scenes from the life of another hero famed for his physical prowess, Hercules. Although the subject of this particular piece has not been identified with certainty, the scene perhaps portrays Hercules's Fourth Labor in which he captured the savage Erymanthian boar. The themes of physical struggle and triumph represented here and in the other gaming pieces would have alluded evocatively to the contest of wits being played out on the gameboard.
Inscribed in the image, in a tablet held by old woman in upper center, D H, flanking a pinecone; l.l., 97; verso, inscribed in black ink, u.l. corner, M[?] nit/ 7-87; in graphite, u.c., 30; l.l. corner, / [?] D.; BVIII. 485.47/ 64.9.7; in l.c., fr Sir T. Lawrences Coll.
Collector's marks: stamped in black ink, in the image, l.l.: T.L, surrounded by a double oval [monogram of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Lugt 2446]; verso, l.l., stamped in black ink, CDG, entwined [monogram of Dr. C.D. Ginsburg, Lugt 1145] Watermark: indecipherable
This black and white print depicts an animated and detailed scene of nude figures and mythical beasts on the surface of the sea.Two men, with seaweed hair and riding half horse/half fish creatures, strike out at each other. A man and a woman ride a beast with a scaly body and the head of a fierce dog. In the background, a man holding a trident stands with his back to the viewer. Action and motion are expressed with billowing drapery, flowing hair and moving waves. The wide mouthed expressions of the figures and animals suggest yelling and noise in this chaotic scene. Among the many details depicted by the artist is a plaque held by the woman that has his initials.
Daniel Hopfer was a 16th c. German etcher who was first trained as an armor maker and used thin iron plates for his prints - a process he invented. This print depicts one part of a larger composition by the sixteenth-century Northern Italian painter Andrea Mantegna (1430/31–1506), itself based on the relief (shallow) carving decorating a Roman sarcophagus. Mantegna frequently made reference to Roman relief sculpture in his work and his designs in turn inspired the work of engravers, whose prints provided a wider dissemination of his art. This image, in which nude figures astride fantastical creatures dominate, has been interpreted as an allegory on the theme of envy. This impression once belonged to the British painter Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), whose collector’s mark is visible at the lower left corner.
The painting depicts a group of American settlers attempting to defend themselves against attack by a band of Native Americans. A covered wagon pulled by two horses is at the center of the composition; at left, two Native Americans attack the wagon with war clubs and tomahawks; a figure on the lead horse points a pistol directly at the head of one of his attackers, while a figure at the rear of the wagon shoots another attacker. At right other warriors on horseback ride past the train shooting arrows and wielding tomahawks.
“The Attack on an Emigrant Train” was inspired by the writing of Gabriel Ferry, a contemporary French chronicler of the Gold Rush, and depicts a caravan of American pioneer gold-diggers crossing a prairie, defending themselves against attack by a band of Native Americans. Wimar portrays the Native American as a foe who symbolized hostility and was an obstruction in the path of American progress and territorial expansion.
Circular tsuba, made of iron. It has two holes in the middle. There are two openwork motifs of mushrooms on the lower left. Rusts on some parts of the piece.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kougai, a spatula-like stick which is said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets. Mushrooms were thought to have a magical power in East Asia.
This tsuba is in the Kotosho style, which means "old swordsmith". They are usually thinly hammered and decorated with one or two pierced designs. Kotosho fate from Kamakura to early Muromachi period.
This tsuba is a flat iron plate with quatrefoil design. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by oval-shape hole (for kougai) and oval with bump shape (for kozuka). Egrets and reeds decorate the surface, distributed in a curve that climbs counter-clockwise from the bottom left register, culmiating in the top left with a lone egret in flight. Egrets on the bottom of the piece perch on the ground or nest in the golden reeds.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. A smaller hole on the left is to place an ornamental stick, kozuka. Another hole on the right is to insert kougai, spatula-like sticks which are said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets.
This small, flat piece made of light brown brass (called "sentoku" in Japanese) has a round diamond shape. It has a triangular shaped hole in the center and another round hole on one side. Artist’s name is signed between the two holes. The surface is slightly concaved from the rim. The front has relief design of a shrimp, blowfish, and bamboo branch. On the back, there are designs of a spiral shell, a barnacle, and water drops. The sea motifs are inlayed with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy).
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert an ornamental stick called kozuka. This particlar tsuba has a sea-related theme of shrimp and blowfish.
Circular tsuba, made of iron. It has two holes in the middle. Two figures, Kanzan and Jittoku, are carved on the lower right corner. Kanzan, who holds a scroll on his hand, and Jittoku, who holds a bloom stick and pointing to the sky, are looking upward. The two figures are carved slightly higher than the surface. On the back, there is the moon partially obscured by clouds. Gold and silver alloy inlays are applied to the moon and the clouds. Gold is also inlayed in their eyes, parts of the garments, and Kanzan's scroll. Shakudô (copper-gold alloy) is inlayed in Jittoku's bloom and his jacket collars.
Kanzan and Jittoku are Taoist eccentrics of whom little is known, but they are frequently represented (almost always together) in East Asian arts. Both lived in the monastery of Kuo Ching, spending most of their time in the kitchen, and speaking a gibberish unintelligible to anyone, resenting visitors, and noticing them only with insults. Kanzan holds a scroll, which he expounds to Jittoku, who stands by leaning on his broom. Both have a dwarfed and somewhat boyish appearance, but Kanzan's face is furrowed by age. (Reference: Edmunds, Will H. Pointers and Clues to the Subjects of Chinese and Japanese Art).
It is a round, openwork iron tsuba, in the design of three interconnected irises. The two holes are plugged with gold.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kozuka, an ornamental stick. Irises are popular motifs in Japanese art, for their association with Tale of Ise, classical literature from the Heian period (794-1192).
It is a round, openwork tsuba, in the design of three interconnected bamboo leaves. It has the signature: Kishû jû, Sadanobu.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert an ornamental stick called kozuka.
Golden lion with gently curving tail and arched back. Each foot is capped with three intimidating claw-like nails. The lion is oriented as if stalking from left to right, but the head turns back inward towards the center, with a downward flowing mane.
Lion scabbard ornament attached to the handle of the sword (1973/2.87).
The sword is long and slightly curved; the handle cover is wrapped with black cords, mostly worn out. The round tsuba (sword guard) is made of steel and has two holes. The scabbard is painted with lacquer and has a string for hanging. There is a pair of lion-shaped menuki (fitting) on the handle.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost.
This small, flat metal piece has a quartrefoil shape. Two holes in the middle. Flame-like incision all over the piece. Silver is applied around the center hole.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kozuka, an ornamental stick. This particlar tsuba has incised, overall frame design.
The sword is long and slightly curved; the metal smith's name is engraved on the metal handle. The scabbard is painted with black laquer with image of samurai and cherry tree. He wears a jacket, pants, a straw hat and a sword, holding a brush, possibly writing a poem on a piece of paper hanging from the tree. The figure and tree are painted with rose-color and gold laquer.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost. The samurai in the laquered scabbard engages in a traditional literal activity, versing a poem in promptu. The combination of samurai and the literal practice may suggest the way of samurai" (bushidô) ideal: "exel in both civil and military pursuits" (bunbu ryôdô).
A group of men wage battle against each other in a rocky landscape. Some of the men wear ancient Roman armor while others are only partially clothed. The combatants wield spears and swords, and some are on horseback. The mounted soldier in the center of the scene holds a large banner. A burning city is visible in the distance.
Agostino Musi captures the chaos of battle through the dense masses of men and horses locked in struggle within a harsh, rocky landscape. The scene ostensibly represents a battle between the Romans under the command of Scipio and the Carthaginians from north Africa during the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BCE), but does not depict any specific military engagement.