Asian Art Projects

Sosuke Tray

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A leading expert in cloisonne authenticated that this tray is an unsigned piece by Namikawa Sosuke and, even more remarkably, a photographic example of a similar tray that is based on the same artwork by the artist Watanabe Seitei. Most specialists will confidently attribute this tray to the Tokyo branch of Shippo Gaisha, managed by Namikawa Sosuke. We initially cleaned and bleached the cracks, taking care not to damage the patina of the metalwork. We bent the rim back into shape ...

Blanc de Chine Figure

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This Blanc de Chine figure likely depicts the Taoist immortal, Magu. She is often shown as a beautiful young woman, adorned with flowers, holding a ewer containing the elixir of life in hands with long, delicate fingernails, and is accompanied by a deer, a symbol of immortality. Similar items, also known as Dehua porcelain, were created as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This example, however, likely dates from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The clear glaze over the white porcelain can create a ...

Gilt-Lacquered Buddha Sculpture

Buddha 5 baf

This gilt-lacquered Buddha has a striking presence. It is Japanese, and actually a Buddhist Arhat, or saint – possibly a portrait of a revered abbot. It is approximately 2-1/2 feet tall and is make of several blocks of wood glued together. The damage resulted in part from these blocks shrinking at different rates, causing large offsets at the surface – thankfully mostly on the back. There were also patches of missing lacquer. The rest of the surface had been regilded more ...

Japanese-Style Glass Vase with Gold Decoration

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When gold is fired onto a glass or a ceramic it is vanishingly thin. One of the most common signs of wear on such pieces is work spots on unprotected edges and surfaces. Although we can restore such damage, it is a costly process and we not usually recommend it. In some cases, as this vase, the gold is used as an integral part of the design – and so it is important to restore it. In this case an ...

Blue and White Chinese Ewer

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This lovely early Ming xuan-de pitcher had old cracks in the handle and the spout support. We sealed these cracks first to give as much strength as possible to its slender curves, then we filled and airbrushed the cracks, recreating the spreading softness that the underglaze blue cobalt glaze acquires when it is fired. It is a challenge to soften these color edges, and to perfectly recreate the subtle range of blue shades that the cobalt takes on as it ...

Cambodian Stone Buddha Sculpture

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This is a Cambodian stone Buddha that creates a serene mood in a secluded garden on Cape Cod. When the ear lobe went missing, it made a disturbing asymmetry in the harmony of the pose. Working outdoors can be a challenge because of the weather. Epoxies dry very slowly below 70 degrees, and hardly at all below fifty degrees. Sometimes a sculpture can be tented to create a higher temperature, but in this case it was sufficient to mount a hair ...

Japanese Antique Cloisonne Vase

Japanese cloisonne vase 900 baf

This 19th century Japanese vase is 12” tall and had a dent about 1-1/2” across from which most of the enamel was missing. We can restore cloisonne to a high degree of invisibility. Cloisonne is constructed on copper vessels onto which thin copper or silver, or sometimes gilded, wires are soldered. These wires create the cells, or cloisons, that are filled with crushed colored glass that is then fused into the enamel that covers these pieces. The final step, not ...