Fri, 27th May 2022 13:00

Fine Japanese Art

 
  Lot 78
 

78

A LARGE AND IMPRESSIVE WOOD FIGURE OF ZOCHOTEN (VIRUDHAKA)

Starting price
€5,000
Estimate
€10,000
 

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Lot details

Japan, 14th-16th century, Muromachi period (1336-1573)

Of joined-block yosegi construction, covered in black lacquer, the guardian deity of the South standing firmly atop two oni on a rocky ledge, dressed in Chinese armor centered by a demon mask design, his left arm raised and clasped to hold a staff, the fierce face framed by tufts of hair flanking a high chignon, with eyes of inlaid reverse-painted and gilt crystal, the two demons with crystal eyes as well.

HEIGHT 93 cm

Condition: Good condition with some wear, age cracks, minor flaking and small losses to lacquer, minor chips and nicks, a weapon or staff held in the guardian’s hand lost, further minor losses.
Provenance: Dutch collection.

The Shitenno, whose origins are in Hindu traditions, were adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as subjugators of Buddha's enemies. With their transmission into East Asian Buddhist teachings, their appearance took on a martial quality and their iconography included armor, weapons, and fearsome expressions. In temple halls where sculptural arrangements were set up to emulate Sumeru, the Buddhist cosmic mountain, the Shitenno were placed at the four corners surrounding and protecting the central Buddhist sculptures in the configuration. Bishamonten is the most powerful and guards the north, while Zochoten guards the south. In Japan, the status of the Shitenno was further elevated to include protection of the nation.

Auction comparison:
Compare a closely related lacquered wood figure of Zochoten, dated to the Nanbokucho period, 14th century, the figure 83 cm high, the base 25.4 cm high, at Christie’s, Japanese & Korean Art, 24 March 2010, New York, lot 594 (sold for 47,500 USD).

 
 

Japan, 14th-16th century, Muromachi period (1336-1573)

Of joined-block yosegi construction, covered in black lacquer, the guardian deity of the South standing firmly atop two oni on a rocky ledge, dressed in Chinese armor centered by a demon mask design, his left arm raised and clasped to hold a staff, the fierce face framed by tufts of hair flanking a high chignon, with eyes of inlaid reverse-painted and gilt crystal, the two demons with crystal eyes as well.

HEIGHT 93 cm

Condition: Good condition with some wear, age cracks, minor flaking and small losses to lacquer, minor chips and nicks, a weapon or staff held in the guardian’s hand lost, further minor losses.
Provenance: Dutch collection.

The Shitenno, whose origins are in Hindu traditions, were adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as subjugators of Buddha's enemies. With their transmission into East Asian Buddhist teachings, their appearance took on a martial quality and their iconography included armor, weapons, and fearsome expressions. In temple halls where sculptural arrangements were set up to emulate Sumeru, the Buddhist cosmic mountain, the Shitenno were placed at the four corners surrounding and protecting the central Buddhist sculptures in the configuration. Bishamonten is the most powerful and guards the north, while Zochoten guards the south. In Japan, the status of the Shitenno was further elevated to include protection of the nation.

Auction comparison:
Compare a closely related lacquered wood figure of Zochoten, dated to the Nanbokucho period, 14th century, the figure 83 cm high, the base 25.4 cm high, at Christie’s, Japanese & Korean Art, 24 March 2010, New York, lot 594 (sold for 47,500 USD).

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Auction: Fine Japanese Art, Fri, 27th May 2022

 

We are proud to present to our latest catalog of Fine Japanese Art, which includes 348 lots curated with a love for the Japanese aesthethic. We hope you will enjoy browsing through our selecton and are as always available for any enquiries you should have!

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We recently moved to a new office, and we're thrilled to share a first look at the new location! We hope you enjoy this video walkthrough of the exhibition for this auction, our first viewing in the space.

 

 

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