2nd Dec, 2022 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
  Lot 55
 

55

AN IMPRESSIVE BRONZE OKIMONO OF RYUJIN PRESENTING A ROCK CRYSTAL SACRED JEWEL (YASAKANI NO NAGATAMA)

Sold for €10,400

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912)

The Dragon King of the Sea wearing dragon armor with finely incised scales and a powerfully cast head with fierce expression, tied to his waist over his loose-fitting robes with billowing sleeves, deep folds, and foliate incised hems, holding in both hands the stand supporting his rock crystal sphere which he uses to raise and lower the tides. His face with an intense expression marked by his shakudo-inlaid gilt-ringed eyes, furrowed brows, and spiky beard. His robes, hair and beard are blowing as if he is standing in the midst of a great storm. Mounted on a stepped square base.

HEIGHT 43 cm (excl. stand) and 46 cm (incl. stand)
WEIGHT 11.6 kg

Condition: Very good condition with minor wear.

The rock crystal sphere held by Ryujin represents the sacred jewel Yasakani no Nagatami, one of the Three Sacred Treasures, the imperial regalia of Japan. They represent the three primary virtues: valor (the sword), wisdom (the mirror), and benevolence (the jewel). This depiction of the Dragon King of the Sea presenting the jewel appears in woodblock prints of the 19th century as well as two celebrated sculptural groups (see Literature comparison).

Literature comparison:
Compare a bronze group in the Khalili collection depicting the sea-god Haneakarutama (essentially, the purely Japanese equivalent of Ryujin) presenting the jewel to Susanoo, illustrated in Meiji no Takara: Treasures of Imperial Japan - The Nasser D. Khalili Collection, The Kibo Foundation, 1995, Metalwork part II, no. 98. For a related version depicting Takenouchi no Sukune and Ryujin by Oshima Joun and others, made for the Second Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai (Domestic Industrial Exposition) of 1881, see Oliver Impey and Malcolm Fairley, The Dragon of the Sea, Japanese Decorative Art of the Meiji Period from the John R. Young Collection, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 1991, cat. no. 11.

Auction comparison:
Compare a related bronze figure of Ryujin presenting the sacred jewel, 164.5 cm high, at Christie’s, 20 June 2001, London, lot 101 (sold for 23,500 GBP).

 

Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912)

The Dragon King of the Sea wearing dragon armor with finely incised scales and a powerfully cast head with fierce expression, tied to his waist over his loose-fitting robes with billowing sleeves, deep folds, and foliate incised hems, holding in both hands the stand supporting his rock crystal sphere which he uses to raise and lower the tides. His face with an intense expression marked by his shakudo-inlaid gilt-ringed eyes, furrowed brows, and spiky beard. His robes, hair and beard are blowing as if he is standing in the midst of a great storm. Mounted on a stepped square base.

HEIGHT 43 cm (excl. stand) and 46 cm (incl. stand)
WEIGHT 11.6 kg

Condition: Very good condition with minor wear.

The rock crystal sphere held by Ryujin represents the sacred jewel Yasakani no Nagatami, one of the Three Sacred Treasures, the imperial regalia of Japan. They represent the three primary virtues: valor (the sword), wisdom (the mirror), and benevolence (the jewel). This depiction of the Dragon King of the Sea presenting the jewel appears in woodblock prints of the 19th century as well as two celebrated sculptural groups (see Literature comparison).

Literature comparison:
Compare a bronze group in the Khalili collection depicting the sea-god Haneakarutama (essentially, the purely Japanese equivalent of Ryujin) presenting the jewel to Susanoo, illustrated in Meiji no Takara: Treasures of Imperial Japan - The Nasser D. Khalili Collection, The Kibo Foundation, 1995, Metalwork part II, no. 98. For a related version depicting Takenouchi no Sukune and Ryujin by Oshima Joun and others, made for the Second Naikoku Kangyo Hakurankai (Domestic Industrial Exposition) of 1881, see Oliver Impey and Malcolm Fairley, The Dragon of the Sea, Japanese Decorative Art of the Meiji Period from the John R. Young Collection, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 1991, cat. no. 11.

Auction comparison:
Compare a related bronze figure of Ryujin presenting the sacred jewel, 164.5 cm high, at Christie’s, 20 June 2001, London, lot 101 (sold for 23,500 GBP).

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