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.
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 triptych depicts the kabuki play of "Sugawara denju tenarai kagami," a story set in the 9th century, which concerns the government official Sugawara no Michizane (called Kan Sh?j? in the play), who was exiled to Ky?sh? after being accused of conspiring to seize the throne. Sakuramaru is one among three in a fictional set of triplets that drives the plot.
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 The protruding eyes, nose, and mouth convey a serene, dignified and somewhat withdrawn look.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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.