Archives

Clock

February 14, 2024

Clock, 1700-1850 European mechanical clocks were introduced to Japan during a brief period of Jesuit influence (c.1550-c.1630) and formed the basis of early Japanese lantern clocks like this.  Early period clocks were owned only by Samurai and were treated more as objects of amusement or novelty. The Japanese temporal time system, which suited the predominantly […]

Sita

February 14, 2024

Sita, 1880-1920 Sita is the consort of the Hindu god Rama. Her abduction by the demon king, Ravana and subsequent rescue are the central incidents in the great Hindu epic poem, The Ramayana. Sita is the embodiment of wifely and feminine virtues for all Hindu women. She is recognised for her dedication, self-sacrifice, bravery and […]

Amida Butsu

February 14, 2024

Amida Butsu, 19th century Sculpture depicting Amida Butsu or Amitābha, the Buddha of Infinite Light and the principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism. Devotion to Amitābha became a major feature of Japanese Buddhism. In the Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra, the Buddha begins by describing to his attendant Ānanda a past life of the Buddha Amitābha. He […]

Japanese Jar

February 14, 2024

Jar, c.1868-1900 Made for the export market, this Japanese jar is decorated with a Samurai warrior and a courtesan on reserved panels in overglaze polychrome enamels and lacquer. The jar is from Arita, Saga Prefecture and is in the Ko-Imari style. Arita was one of the first sites in Japan to produce porcelain, following the […]

Collection of Taiaha

February 14, 2024

Collection of Taiaha, The taiaha is one of the most iconic of all the Māori weapons and it originated when Tūmatauenga, the atua (god) of war was locked in a stalemate during the heat of a battle. He came across his relation Rūrūtangiākau who then gifted Tūmatauenga his son, Akerautangi, as a weapon. He had […]

Chinese Jar

February 14, 2024

Jar, early 20th century A famille jaune (Chinese porcelain with the dominant colour of yellow) depicting a figure riding a qilin. The legendary animal is depicted with horns, green and blue scaly skin, the hooves of a deer, the head of a dragon and a bear’s tail. The qilin symbolises prosperity and longevity and is […]

Temple bell

February 14, 2024

Temple bell, 1850-1950 A large Japanese bell made of cast copper alloy, without clapper or with suspension chain. The bell is exquisitely decorated with a cast of two winged figures on the top.  

Incense burner or censer

February 14, 2024

Incense burner or censer, c. 1750-1800 Mounted on a tripod stand, this Chinese enamelled incense burner has an openwork sphere of bats in clouds. Rainbow-coloured clouds symbolise the blessing of rain. The Chinese words for ‘bat’, fu, and ‘cloud’, yun, sound the same as words for ‘good fortune’ and for ‘come round’: so, this object […]

Tsuri-daiko

February 14, 2024

Tsuri-daiko, 1850-1885 Bought from Japan by Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes, this tsuri-daiko (large, suspended drum) is elaborately decorated with dragons on both heads. The tsuri-daiko is usually played in gagaku, a type of Japanese music played at the Imperial court. The drummer uses two leather-covered sticks on one side.

Panefer

February 14, 2024

Panefer, c.1260BC-1240BC (possibly a reproduction for export and trade) Bequeathed to the museum in 1951, the Egyptian statue is of ‘Panefer’ who lived in the reign of Rameses II. ‘Panefer’ is seated and appears to be holding a Sphinx, although there is a large amount of surface damage rendering the detail unclear. The stone, syenite […]