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Japanese & Korean Art

Christie's New York


10AM, September 11, 2012

Sale 2579


Articulated model of dragon fish

Lot 109, Iron articulated model of a dragon fish, Edo Period (18th Century), signed Toto Ju Myochin Shikibu (Sosuke), 13 inches long


By Carter B. Horsley


The serene beauty and grace of much of Japanese art contrasts sharply with its samurai and kabuki heritage and its fascination with shock as made manifest by its articulated models such as Lot 109 in the September 12, 2012 auction of Japanese & Korean Art at Christie's New York.

That lot, shown above, is an iron articulated model of a dragon fish from the Edo Period  (18th Century), signed Toto Ju Myochin Shikibu (Sosuke).  The model is 13 inches long but it looks like it can leap and fly off its stand and devour everything in sight. Its mouth opens, the tongue moves, the fins spread and the body bends.  The plates are joined inside the body and it is signed on the underside.  It has been exhibited at the Toyko National Museum.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $458,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The sale total was $9,116,600 with 122 of 212 offered lots selling.

Katsura Yamaguchi, Christie's international director of Japanese and Korean art, said after the auction that the sale "attracted a packed saleroom and active telephone bidding from all over the world.  Heakyum Kim, specialist of Korean Art for Christie's, said that "Museum-quality ceramics and paintings became the centerpiece of the sale, which was led by an important monumental blue and white porcelain dragon jara of the Joseon Dynasty (18th Century), realizing $3.2 million," adding that "exceptional prices were further achieved by Park Sookeun's Tree and Three Figures from a U.S. private collection, which achieved $1.9 million, a world auction record for the artist in the West."


Lacquered stationery box

Lot 82, lacquered wood stationery box (ryoshibako), Edo Period (18th Century), signed Muchuan Haritsu and sealed Kan (Ogawa Haritsu Rituso), 16 1/4 by 12 3/4 by 6 5/8 inches


Lot 82 is a very fine lacquered wood stationery box (ryoshyibako), Edo Period (18th Century, signed Muchuan Haritsu and sealed Kan (Ogawa Haritsu Rituso).  It measures 16 1/4 by 12 3/4 by 6 5/8 inches.  It was exhibited by the Kyoto National Museum in 1990.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $116,500.

Gold lacquer
Lot 81, lacquer writing box, (suzuribako), Edo Period (18th Century), signed Choin and sealed Koami (Koami XVI), 10 1/8 by 9 by 1 3/4 inches

Lot 81 is a very lovely lacquer writing box (suzuribako) from the Edo Period (18th Century).  It is signed Choin and sealed Koami.  It measures 10 1/8 by 9 by 1 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $43,750.

sparkle lacquer

Lot 93, lacquer writing box, Taisho-Showa Period (early 20th Century), Uematsu Hobi (1872-1933), 10 1/4 by 9 by 2 inches


Lot 93 is a lovely lacquer writing box from the Taisho-Showa Period, early 20th Century, Uematsu Hobi (1872-1933).  It measures 10- 14 by 9 by 2 inches  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $18,750.

Lacquer box tops

Lot 83, lacquered wood writing box, school of Ogawa Haritsu, Edo Period (18th-19th Century), with inlaid red seal Kan, 9 1/2 by 7 7/8 by 2 inches, left; Lot 80, lacquer writing box, Edo-Meiji Period (19th Century), 9 1/8 by 8 1/4 by 2 inches, right

Lot 83 is a very good lacquered wood writing box, school of Ogawa Haritsu, Edo Period (18th-19th Century).  It measures 9 1/2 by 7 7/8 by 2 inches.  It has an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000.  It sold for $110,500.

Lot 80 is a good lacquer wood writing box from the Edo-Meiji Period (19th Century).  It measures 9 18 by 8 1/4 by 2 inches.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $47,500.  It illustrates the Tanabata muth with a pair of magpies on a bridge over the Milky Way with lightning bolts.


Picnic lacquer

Lot 86, a lacquer picnic set (Sage Jubako), Edo Period, (19th Century) 11 1/4 by 5 by 10 inches

Lot 85 is an excellent laccquer picnic set (sage jubako) from the Edo Period (19th Century).  It measures 11 1/4 by 5 by 10 inches.  The lot has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It failed to sell.

Warrior `

Lot 104, purple-laced Nimaido Gusoku armor, Edo Period (18th Century)

Lot 104 is a very good purple-laced Nimaido Gusoky armor from the Edo Period (18th Century).  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $122,500.


Warrior helmet

Detail of Lot 104

With its russet iron somen (full face mask) with horse hair divie and signed Muneyasu, the helmet of this warrior is attriuted to Muneazu "the twenty-seventh generation following Takenouchi-no-Sukune Munetou, a retainer of the Empress Jingu.


warrior 2

Lot 103, a white-laced Rokumai-Do Gusoku (armor), Edo Period (18th Century)

Lot 103 is a white-laced Rokumai-Do Gusoku armor from the Edo Period (18th Century).  It is signed Myochin Munemasa.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It failed to sell.


samurai group


Lot 105, set of four warrior dolls (musha ningyo), Late Edo Period (circa1820), tallest 14 inches

Lot 105 is an excellent set of four warrior dolls from the Late Edo Period (circa 1820).   The tallest is 14 inches.  The lot has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $8,750.

Screen 2

Lot 31, "Scene from 'Nowaki,' Chapter 28 of The Tale of Genji," inscribed by Tosa Mitsuyoshi (1700-1772), six-panel screen, 60 1/4 by 142 1/4 inches

Lot 31 is a six-panel screen inscribed by Tosa Mitsuyoshi (1700-1772).  It measures 60 1/4 by 142 1/4 inches and illustrates Chapter 28 of The Tale of Genji.  It has an estimate of $40,,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.

Screen 3

Lot 33, "Egrets and ducks in a winter lanscape," by Hasegawa Tonin (active early 17th Century), six sliding doors mounted in three two-panel screens, inks, color gold and gold leaf on pape,r 63 3/8 by 66 1/8 inches each

Lot 33 is a very fine set of three two-panel screens depicting "Egrets and ducks in a winter landscape" by Hasegawa Tonin (active early 17th Century).  The screens were originally six sliding doors.  Each of the panels measures 63 3/8 by 66 1/8 inches.  They were once at Akashi Castle in Kobe that was demolished in 1874 and have been exhibited at the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. The lot has an estimate of $250,000 to $300,000.  It sold for $626,500.

Screen 4

Lot 42, "Tiger and Dragon," anonymous, (18th-19th Century), pair of six-panel screens, ink, color, gold and silver leaf on paper, 57 5/8 by 131 1/2 inches

Lot 42 is an impressive, anonymous pair of six-panel screens depicting "Tiger and Dragon" in ink, color, gold and silver leaf on paper that easure 57 7/8 by 131 1/2 inches.  The lot has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It failed to sell.

Screen 5

Screen 7

Lot 43, Birds and flowers of the four seasons," by Kano Kyuhaku, pair of six-panel screens, 25 1/2 by 91 inches each

Lot 43 is an very attractive pair of six-panel screens by Kano Kyuhaku (1726-1743) depicting "Birds and flowers of the four seasons."  The screens measures 25 1/2 by 91 inches each.

Sceen 7 detail

Detail of Lot 43

Lot 43 has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It failed to sell.

Screen 8

Lot 36, "Autumn Flowers," Rinpa School (18th Century), six panel screen, ink, color and gold on paper, 53 3/4 by 139 inches

Lot 36 is a nice six-panel screen of  "Autumn Flowers" by the Rinpa School (18th Century).  It mesures 53 3/4 by 139 inches.  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.

Screen 8 detail

Detail of Lot 36

The screen was once exhibited at the Museum of Art in Ehime, Matsuyama. It failed to sell.

Screen 9

Lot 39, "Quail and Autumn Flowers," anonymous (18-th-19th Century) two-panel screen ink, color and gold leaf on paper, 61 by 66 7/8 inches

Lot 39 is a very pleasant, anonymous, two-panel screen in ink, color and gold leaf on paper of "Quail and Autumn Flowers."  It measures 61 by 66 7/8 inches.

Screen 9 detail

Detail of Lot 39

It has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.  It sold for $5,250.


Screen 10

Lot 28, "Mice Whitewashing a Hammer," after Chobunsai Eishi (19th Century), bearing seal Eishi, hanging scroll ink and color on paper, 14 3/4 by 19 1/4 inches, one of two scrolls in lot

The most amusing work in the auction is one of two hanging scrolls in Lot 28, "Mice Whitewashing a Hammer," after Chobunsai Eishi (19th Century), bearing seal Eishi.  The scroll meausres 14 3/4 by 19 1/4 inches  The lot has an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000.  It failed to sell.

Screen 11

Lot 26, "Village by a Stream," by Tanomura Chikuden, hanging scroll, 71 3/4 by 37 3/4 inches

Lot 26 is a nice hanging scroll of a "Village by a Stream" by Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835).  It measures 71 3/4 by 37 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $8,000 to $10,000.  It sold for $11,875.

Pagoda

Lot 49, pagoda,wood, from the set of "One Million Pagodas" (Hkyakuman To), Nara Period, 8 1/2 inches high

Lot 49 is a wood pagoda, 8 1/2 inches high, from the Nara Period (764-70) set of "One Million Pagodas" commissioned by Empress Shotoku (718-770) in gratitude for the suppression of a rebellion by the Emi and in prayer for the future protection of the realm.  Nine hundred thousand were distributed to temples.  The lot is property from the Walter and Phyllis Shorenstein Collection. The lot has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.  It sold for $13,750.


Green cup

Lot 185, slip-inlaid celadon stoneware bowl with cranes and clouds Goryeo Dynasty (late 12th Century), 4 3/4 inches in diameter

Lot 185 is a beautiful celadon stoneware bowl with cranes and clouds from the Goryeo Dynasty (12th Century).  It is 4 3/4 inches in diameter.  It has an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $50,000.

Modern abstract

Lot 208, untitled, by Kwon Youngwoo, ink and gouache on paper, 28 7/8 by 23 1/4 inches

Lot 208 is a beautiful, abstract ink and gouache on paper by Kwon Youngwoo (b. 1926).  It measures 28 7/8 by 23 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $3,500 to $4,000.  It sold for $5,250.

Dragon Jar 1      Dragon jar 2

Lot 195, important and monumental blue and white porcelain dragon jar, Joseon Dynasty (18th Century), 23 13/16 inches high, left; Lot 196, blue and white porcelain dragon jar, Joseon Dynasty (18th Century), 16 1/2 inches high, right

Lot 195 is an important and monumental blue and white porcelain dragon jar from the Joseon Dynasty (18th Century).  It is 23 13/16 inches high and depicts two dragons chasing two flaming pearls.  It has an estimate on request.  It sold for $3,218,500.

Lot 196 is a blue and white porcelain dragon jar from the Joseon Dynasty (18th Century) that is 16 1/2 inches high and is notable for have clouds overlay part of the dragon's body.  The lot has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $158,500.

Lot 210, "Tree and Three Figures" by Park Sookeun (1914-1965) is an oil on canvas that measures 25 3/4 by 19 3/4 inches.  It was painted in 1962.  It has an estimate of $600,000  to $800,000.  It sold for $1,986,000.  The catalogue noted that the artist is the "most sought-after modern Korean master."

Mythical beasts

Lot 183, "Mythical beasts in the land of the immortals," anonymous, late 19th-20th Century, 55 3/4 by 92 1/2 inches

Lot 183 is a very pleasant anonymous Late 19th-20th Century Korean screen entitled "Mythical beasts in the land of the immortals."  It measures 55 3/4 by 92 1/2 inches. It has an estimate of $5,000 to $6,000.  It sold for $23,750.

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