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 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.
Inscription, in pen, along top and bottom edged: Copy of a Print by Gilray the original of which I gave to/ Wm. Hone to produce on his trial & of which afterwards I made/ an etching of this size George Cruikshank
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.
Finely carved staffs (called "kooko" or "nhkuumbu" in the local language) display their use as symbols of a chief's authority. Reference to leadership and the elders is also made in the variations in coiffure and headgear that represent the distinctive hairstyles of previous generations of chiefs. Among the Yaka, living elders and chiefs were regarded as repositories of supernatural powers, who can protect against evil as well as withdraw their protection in case of disobedience or disrespect.
Stone swords were used 3000 years ago throughout Korea and iron swords were developed during the Three Kingdom era (57 BC - 668 AD). Shorter swords like this one were typically used in battle for follow up attacks.
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.
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.
Goltzius was known as one of the premiere engravers in Europe and this depiction of Venus and Cupid shows the artist at the peak of his powers. Venus, the goddess of love, is seen reclining at an angle within the oval format of the image. Her left arm is draped around the figure of Cupid, whose arrow is about to pierce her chest near her heart. Notwithstanding the playful threat of Cupid’s arrow, the inscription at the bottom attests to Venus’s uncontested command over men: “Our immense power is observed throughout the world, and my fire has widespread potency. Neither any god or man escapes my arrows to which are attached feathered wings.”
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.
Towards the end of the Kalpasutra text there is a story of the courtesan Kosha who was noted for her precise dancing. Here she flirts with the king’s charioteer by dancing while he impresses her with his archery. Later Kosha would renounce the world to become a Jaina nun.
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.
The anthropomorphic brass staffs and figures of the Ogboni society usually come in male-female pairs and are called "Edan." This example is female, as indicated by the breasts and genitals. Female "edan" have beards, too, like their male counterparts-- the beard signifying old age, experience, and wisdom. The staff is an emblem of membership in the Ogboni society of the Yoruba peoples of southwestern Nigeria; the gesture of the hands made by the figurine on top shows the way members greet each other (with fists clenched, left hand over the right: representing the supremacy of the earth). The Ogboni society (also called the Oshugbo society) is a council made up of male and female elders proven to have high integrity and mature judgement. In precolonial times, and to a lesser extent today, this council fulfilled a number of political, judicial and spiritual functions, including the selection and removal of kings and punishment of serious offenders.
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, 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.
This panel, formerly part of an altarpiece, depicts three apostles, each holding an object linked to a significant event in their life that also serves to identify them. On the left St. John the Evangelist holds a chalice with a snake coiled in the cup, a reference to the apocryphal story in which John drank a cup of poison to prove the power of God. Next appears St. Thomas holding an architect's square as he was reputed to have been a church-builder in distant India. On the right stands St. James the Less holding a book and a large fuller's club with which he was beaten to death. Above the head of each apostle floats a scroll bearing a phrase from the Apostles' Creed in Latin.
Multi-colored ink on paper. Prominent reds, yellows and blues. Six figures, three smaller (clothed), three larger (nude or semi-nude). Scene of worship.
In the Jain religion, book production reflects the integral relationship among the laity, monastic community, and the Jina, or enlightened Jain teacher. The dedication of sacred books for shrines is required of devotees, while commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, and beholding a book helps the individual achieve the proper mental state for spiritual guidance. It was customary for a lay donor to commission a copy of a text for presentation to his spiritual teacher and ultimately to the temple library. Over the centuries, monastic libraries received great quantities of texts, which were employed in the instruction of monks and nuns, themselves discouraged from practicing the art of painting: one text expressly warns of the power of painting to arouse sensual feelings.
In these colorful pages, the golden-hued Jinas and the monks who venerate them are nude, identifying them as belonging to the Digambara (sky-clad) sect of Jainism. A central concern of many medieval hymns and rituals is curing disease with many of the verses promising relief from sickness. The verse that originally accompanied the page on the right was about dropsy, more commonly known as edema. The patient is reclining, belly visibly swollen. The verse tells us, “Those who have been utterly wrecked by their burdensome, swollen abdomens, who are plagued by the terrible disease of dropsy and have given up all hope, become as handsome as the god of Love himself, their bodies anointed with a life-saving nectar, the dust from your lotus feet.” Reciting this verse in prayer to the Jina brings relief from this unendurable disease.
The page on the left praises the divine drum that resounds on the Enlightenment of the Jina, proclaiming the greatness of his teaching. We see in the upper register the Jina seated in meditation with the naked monk Manatuga at his side. In the lower register two gods beat kettle drums, while a third god dances and beats a tambourine.
A woodblock print, with monochromatic black ink. The impression is good, especially given the detail of the design, although the block appears to have been worn at the outside edges.
An image of the Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, shown seated on his lion mount, who in turn rests on a large lotus. Manjusri holds a sword high in his right hand, and a lotus flower in his left hand. A profusion of flowers surrounds the image. In the upper left hand corner is a moon, and in the upper right hand corner, a sun.
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.