A plump sparrow is perching on a bamboo branch, which is bending from the main branch on the left side of the painting. The bamboo has young and mature leaves. The background is left as blank. The mounting is made of creamy silk brocade with blue green silk brocade strips. Brown brocade pieces are pasted on the top and the bottom of the mounting. There is a seal in red ink on the left corner. Wrinkles on the top and right lower side of the bid; some smaller worm holes and one large hole underneath the bird, but all repaired.
The combination of a bird and bamboo here is a favored subject matter in Japanese ink painting called "bird and flower" painting ("kachôga"). Painters of Kanô school (official painting school of the samurai class in Momoyama and Edo periods) executed many paintings in this category.
A square shaped, wood tray with curved corners tray. The interior is red lacquered, and the exterior is coated with black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlays in geometric shapes.
This type of tray was used to carry offerings to a Buddhist monastery or to place paraphernalia associated with betel chewing, an important social custom in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. The use of mother-of-pearl inlayed lacquer ware was widespread among royalty and monks in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Flat woven bamboo basket with geometric pattern in red and black
Flat woven bamboo basket with geometric pattern in red and black and the design of a swastika ("wan") in the middle, which is a homophone for "ten-thousand" and is used in various combinations to suggest "endless;" therefore, it is believed that this basket may have been used at a wedding or birthday celebration.
A small container made by inverting a wheel-thrown jar with a rounded bottom, cutting out a circle in the new 'shoulder' of the jar, and attaching a flat bottom. The handle, which is simply attached at both ends, takes the form of an areca fruit. The vessel as a whole has a pale straw-colored glaze, with a rich green iron glaze dripped over the handle and the upper part of the pot.
A small pot for holding powdered lime (calcium oxide), an ingredient mixed with betel nuts and spices to make a popular stimulant used extensively in Vietnam and other parts of South and Southeast Asia.
This is a large monochrome print of a courtesan wearing kimono with iris design. The courtesan is standing with her right hand in the sleeve that she raises to her chin and left hand gathering up her kimono; Her cloak with bamboo leaf and gentian flower design is slipping off her shoulder and revealing her dark kimono with iris roundels. She has long hair; her hair is tied and draped on the back. She is looking toward the right side. There is the artist’s signature and seal, and publisher’s seal on the right.
This extravagantly large print is one of a very rare series issued in Edo in the 1710s by the Kaigetsudô School of artists. Perhaps designed as inexpensive substitutes for paintings, Kaigetsudô prints invariably depict courtesans swathed in magnificent bold-patterned robes, against a plain ground. The typical Kaigetsudô courtesan is a full-bodied woman who is both seductive and yet somehow beyond our reach; for all that she is on display, she remains in her own closed-off world of reveries.
(M. Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art, March, 2002)
This incense burner is composed of two equal halves. It opens to be used for incense storage, and takes the shape of a ginko leaf. The glaze gives the piece a red color.
This is an incense container in the shape of a ginko leaf. The artist, Koyama Kyoko, struggled as a female potter in a trade dominated by male artists. She received recognition when she discovered a way to revive the forgotten techinique of natural ash glazes, which are commonly used in her work.
This painting inculdes the seal of the artist Ren Xun. A crane stands in the foreground, with it's head and beak turned toward the viewer, revealing a patch of orangish red on its face. A pine tree arches across the background above.
Ren Xun, best known for painting birds and animals, was the younger brother of Ren Xiong’s (1823–1857). This elegant painting of a crane, a symbol of immortality, and pine and bamboo, symbols of longevity, is appropriate for birthday or New Year’s gifts. To suggest the cold season, Ren Xun chose orange pigment to depict the pine needles.
A medium size, well potted jar with round shoulder and shorter neck. Inside is not totally glazed. On the body, pine, bamboo, and plum trees are finely painted with blue underglaze. Then a translucent glaze is applied, which turns into milky, white color. It has three floral decorations on the shoulder; the decoration is originated in functional elements of “ears” to which ropes were tied for transportation. The neck has a band of double lines and spray design of peony flowers and leaves. The rim of the neck is unglazed. The foot is unglazed; eye is glazed. Some imperfections of glaze are seen toward the bottom. Glaze is scraped off on one part. Many speckles on the surface.
The three plants depicted here, pine, bamboo, and plum, are called “three friends in winter,” and have been depicted in many forms of Japanese decorative arts throughout its history. They symbolize long life and cultured gentlemen.
This is made of a thick brocade of red, gold and silver. Medallion patterns and wavy stripes are woven through the entirety of the fabric, rather than halfway, as is common in less intricate obi. Medallion motifs of tortoise shells, flowers, and bamboo leaves are spaced among the golden waves across the fabric.
The red color of this obi is a bold and auspicious one, and marks the obi as one probably worn only for weddings or other formal celebrations. The motifs within the medallions that decorate the obi are traditonal symbols of longevity.
Flask-shaped bottle with short, narrow neck. Bamboo leaves design in brown color is applied on one shoulder toward the bottom. The porous surface of white glaze shows the orange color of the clay. The spout is narrow and has an elevated rim. The foot is short and glazed.
The flask bottle is perhaps intended to be displayed by itself, but not for practical use. The bamboo leaves are painted with quick brushstroke.