Sword (original) and later handle, sword guard, and scabbard
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.
Tsuba (sword guard) with design of blowfish, shrimp and plant
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).
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
brass with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy) inlays
Artist Unknown, African, Yaka Peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo
A stylized human head with an elaborate coiffure, sitting atop a larger animal head with scarification marks below the eyes, tops a well-carved staff with angular handle and a zig-zag carved pattern below the handle. The eyes of both figures are set in shallow cavities and appear squinted or closed.
A woodblock print of a figure hunched over holding swords. The figure's right arm is raised and feet are pointing in opposite directions. A purple robe with a white diamond pattern, trimmed in black, covers the lower portion of the figure. Red sleeves with a repeating flower pattern (pink with green centers) are center. A mat, light blue trim with black floral design, is towards the bottom right (to the figures left).
This black and white print shows a nude woman and young boy with wings within an oval shape.The woman is lounging on a draped surface and has her arm around the boy. He is facing toward her and pushing an arrow against her left breast. Other smaller scenes surround these figures including, a woman in a chariot drawn by swans; a man and a woman conversing in a forest; two figures in a landscape scene and two birds nestled together. Outside the oval in the corners of the work are hearts, flaming arrows and roses . At the bottom is Latin lettering.
Kalpasutra manuscript, leaf: The Courtesan Kosha and the King's Charioteer (fol. no. 102v)
Artist Unknown, India, Gujarat
Alongside a block of calligraphic text a red rectable sets off an illustrative space. In the bottom right corner of the illustration a woman dances, and on the left a larger figure pulls an arrow taught in a bow.
Brass female figure, kneeling with buttocks on the heels, atop an iron staff. The protruding eyes, nose, and mouth convey a serene, dignified and somewhat withdrawn look. The figure has a beard around the face; she wears ornamentation in small holes atop the ears, cone-shaped headgear, and an elaborate necklace; there is a small spiral motif on the forehead, and two larger spiral motifs on the sides of the body. The hands are held in closed fists in front of the body, the left hand on top of the right.
An abstracted sketch drawing of a group of soldiers crossing a stream. The figures are rough outlines done in black with blue ink accents. Some soldiers are on horseback and brandishing swords, possibly as a sign to enemies on the other bank. Other soliders help one another cross the water on foot.
Three Apostles: St. John the Evangelist, St. Thomas, and St. James the Less with the Apostles' Creed
Three apostles, each holding an identifying attribute, stand in a row as full-length figures on this painted panel. On the left stands the youthful beardless St. John holding a chalice with a snake coiled in the cup. Next to him appears the bald and bearded St. Thomas, holding an architect's square. The bearded figure of St. James the Less appears on the left with an open book in his left hand and a long fuller's club in his right. Scrolls above each apostle's head contain a line from the Apostles' Creed in Latin.
Six-armed Bodhisattva Mañjusri, standing, with two celestial attendants
Artist Unknown, India
Mañjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, standing with two celestial attendants. This representation of Manjushri includes six arms, one of which holds a sword, while a narrow book (modeled after books made from palm leaves) lays across his upper hand. Manjushri is wearing an ornamented crown and necklace, and is encircled by a halo of flames.
Durga sits with her legs in a half lotus position, crossed in front of her, but not interlaced. She has a narrow waist and rounded pointy breasts with broad shoulders. Her front two hands hold a rosary (also in a reassuring gesture) and a pot. Her other hands fan out around her. Reading clockwise, she carries a wide assortment of weapons, an arrow, sword, feather, club, discus, trident and [?] on her right and conch, bell, noose, trident, club?, shield, bow and a kapala (skull cup). She has large open eyes and a full mouth and nose. She wears jewelry including necklaces and shoulder loops, armlets, bracelets and large floral earrings. Her crown rest atop her head, but there are wing-like elements that fan out behind her ears. She sits on a squared base with stylized lotus petals over simpler moldings.
The artist sketches two men whispering to each other on the left-hand side of the drawing. Both of them have swords tucked into their belt, and the man on the left carries his belongings in a wrapping cloth (furoshiki). There are also sketches of several animals facing different directions. On the right-hand edge, there is a upside-down sketch of a woman dressed in kimono.
An masked Noh actor dressed as Empress Jingû is holds a catch of a river trout on a pole. The actor wears a brocade kimono with a floral scroll design, tucked into a stiffly starched pair of brocade trousers. His cloak is a green gauze silk with woven gold phoenix designs.
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.
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.
Tsuba (sword guard) with design of Kanzan (Chinese, Han Shan) and Jittoku (Chinese, Shihde), two Zen eccentrics
Artist Unknown, Japan
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.
Object Creation Date
early 18th century
Medium and Support
iron with gold, silver, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy) inlays
This engraving reproduces a colossal marble sculpture of Hercules leaning upon his club, which is draped with a lion skin. Bos carefully records the powerful musculature of the figure and sets the statue within a niche.
Artist Life Dates
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
engraving on laid paper
components and systems
components by specific context
enclosing structural elements
objects we use
prints by process
prints by process or technique
sculpture by subject type
structural elements and structural element components
This 6-fold screen is a depiction of the Battle of Genji and Heike. In samurai armor, the Heike forces approach by ship from the left, while Genji forces rush to the shore on horseback and on foot—drawing the viewer’s attention to the center of the screens, where their confrontation will finally take place. The Heike forces can be identified by the red banners on their ships, while the Genji clan carries white banners.
Vishnu stands with his legs apart holding his four attributes in his hands. Reading in clockwise direction from his right front hand he holds: his club, discus, conch and lotus, here a rather flat object cupped in his palm. His back two arms are extremely short. The figure is encircled with a decorated arch with a line of beads and triangular shaped openings around them. A stylized sun and moon are to either side of Vishnu’s head. He wears a variety of simple, lumpy jewelry at his feet are a horse to his right and a bull or cow to his left and between them are three rings lying flat on the base. At the front of the base are seven stylized horses, identifying this as a combination figure: Vishnu and the sun god Surya, whose chariot is pulled by seven horses.
At the top of the staff, a male and female supplicant peer from a cascade of cowries, brass beads, iron fragments, and seeds. Some cowries are stained with indigo dye. The lower bodies of the figures are concealed by the shell strands above. Their elongated hairstyles extend the overall verticality of the piece. The figure’s faces appear to be identical.
This impressively large engraving depicts the muscular back of a marble statue of a man. The figure leans upon a club draped with a lion skin and holds three apples in his right hand behind his back. Two men look up at the statue from the lower right corner of the print.
Color woodblock print of a kabuki actor on gray mica ground. Actor appears to be playing the role of a samurai, with his hair in a top-knot, a family crest on the arm of his kimono, and a sword complete with scabbard ornament. His head tilts downward seriously as his hand reaches to unsheath his sword.