Antiques 3-6-11

Some interesting pieces today.

The first is a Yayoi piece.

The second is a set of Ming plates I may have written about before. Interesting and they have been very used, evidenced by the rims, chipped all over. The calligraphy sets them apart from Japanese copies. Very nice brush work.

A Seto hirabachi from the Muromachi period is next. Hirabachi = Hiroi = wide, hachi = bowl, put together, hirabachi. Very interesting to see how long the glaze has held up.

I took a few pictures of a Niyoi that has been repurposed. I am not sure I caught the word correctly as I can’t find any reference to one. It is like a walking stick in it’s original form, in the picture it is turned upside down and used to hang the flower in the tokonoma.

Next up is  a table, about 600 years old, Muromachi,  from a temple. A very interesting point is the mimicking of the red crown crane on the top of the table and then again on the metal pieces on the side.

The last is a letter from Kobori Enshu.

I also took some pictures of the tokonoma.


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2 Responses to “Antiques 3-6-11”

  1. Philippe Papadimitriou (Switzerland) Says:

    Hello Dave,

    Thank you for sharing these pictures. Some objects are very impressive!

    The Nyoi (or however you may spell it) is originally a scepter to be handled. It is the equivalent of the Ruyi scepter in China. Ruyi scepters were used by officials as a sign of authority, also among monks. They then were somehow recycled by the literati for a different symbol, more superfluous, and were used to point directions or simply as decorative objects (particularly in brush bots, where their presence accounted as wishes for their combination phonetically meant something – I do not remeber what exactly). The term Ruyi itself means “as you wish” and is already a symbol of luck. Ruyi scepters made their way to Japan (period unknown by me) where their use started among monks, for the original purpose. High priests and respected monks often had Nyoi. To what I know most Nyoi are quite short (20-60cm) and were not used as walking sticks. In one of the catalogs you have shipped to me, one can find a religious stick looking like the one pictured here. It may well be that Japanese monks used longer Nyoi than I knew about. I shall try to find the piece in the book again and let you know about it. I think it was longer than the one exposed here (1m or so).

    I was always wondering how happens the Ming pieces from China look that different from the ones found in Japan. Does anybody know if some Chinese artisans were brought to Japan? If productions made in China were somehow different if destined for Japan? If Japanese artisans were able to copy and pretend the pieces came from abroad? If the pieces were party done in one country and finished in the other (the paintings look different as the writtings underneath)?
    Maybe it is only becaue valued pieces in Japan do look different from valued pieces in China…
    Any feedback on this will be appreciated.

    Thank you and kind regards,


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