Near Eastern Painting – Samikshavad – The Contemporary Aboriginal Art of India

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Samikshavad – The History

Samikshavad of 1974 was a landmark art movement, as it became the first aboriginal genre in the Modern Indian Art scene, in its true sense. It consciously kept away from any Western influences and established its own distinct identity, as the mark of a ‘free’ India. Samikshavad began as a testimonial of a revolution in Indian Art that meant to reach out to the people, breaking out from the hidden, niche, and mysterious aura attached to it. This art form was a reaction and rejection of the Modern Art forms of the West. ‘Samiksha’ is a Sanskrit word, meaning a critical analysis of a subject, which can extend to broader ones, like lifestyle and socio-political structures. In line with its name, Samikshavad dealt with political sarcasm, political & social corruption, cultural changes, and economical conditions.

Ace painter Prof. Ram Chandra Shukla spearheaded this movement to promote Indianization of domestic art, as opposed to the inclination of his contemporaries towards the Western Modern Art. Prof. Shukla heads the department of Painting at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In addition, promotional lectures held at and sponsored by various University-level Art Departments at various places, further bolstered the movement. Samikshavad effectively gave voice to its proponents as artists and responsible citizens. Its maiden exhibition was held in the year 1979 at All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), Delhi. It displayed a vivid collection of twenty-six paintings, in oil medium over canvas. This exhibition was a huge hit and received great critical acclaim. Critics, art-lovers, media, and the viewers, alike, perceived Samikshavad as an art with social purpose.

The Details

Simplistic forms and a degree of Abstraction & Symbolism, captured in a burlesque manner, are distinct features of Smikshavad. The style did not lay undue emphasis on color schemes, lines, brushwork, forms, and the use of space. The focus here was to ‘communicate’ the message in as understandable form, as possible.

The Artists and Artworks

Where there are examples of extremely bright color Samikshavadi compositions like ‘Value of Rupees’ by R. S. Dheer, monochrome works such as G.Madhurkar Chaturvedi’s ‘Democracy of Crowd,’ also mark the art style. Another remarkable work is ‘Politicians of Today’ (1978) painted by Ram Chandra Shukla (born 1925). It depicts a politician as a ‘monster,’ akin to the devils in Indian mythologies. The devil stands over a peasant (representative of the common person), crushing the poor man with his power and pelf.

Among the other leading names associated with the genre are Hridya Narayan Mishra, Santosh Kumar Singh, Virendra Prasad Singh, Ved Prakash Mishra, Ram Shabd Singh, Bala Dutt Pandey, and Ravindra Nath Mishra.

Conclusion

With its powerful imagery and a raw force of expression, Samikshavad remains a popular form of satirical art.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

The Advantages of Buying Limited Edition Art

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Contemporary artists, just like all artists before them, will have invested an enormous amount of emotional energy, physical effort and creativity into their work and they all want to have their art appreciated and enjoyed by as many people as possible. One way to make this possible is by the production of Limited Edition prints of their work.

Such prints have very much become part of our modern society because they make good contemporary art accessible and affordable to a much wider audience than had previously been possible. During the last 50 years producing Limited Edition Prints has become a standard part of an artist’s career for this very reason. Even the best and most celebrated artists of our time have created them and these should not be regarded as inferior substitutes for an original piece of art but a way to enjoy a piece of exceptional art in your own home.

Current trends in art buying are becoming more and more associated with the decorative merit of a piece rather than collecting art for its own appeal. Many buyers will spend substantial sums on an original painting simply because it matches their decor or, conversely, spend very little on a piece with no artistic merit because it matches their sofa or cushions. It is a shame that very few people first buy art that they love and then use the artwork as the inspiration for their decor. But where these two apparently conflicting approaches actually come together is in the purchase of Limited Edition Art – the buyer or collector can obtain a piece that has artistic merit and a certain amount of exclusivity but is still affordable and, therefore, can be replaced when the decor is changed without too much angst. The artist, obviously, also benefits from the sale of reproductions as they can start to establish or increase their reputation as more of their works become known to the art-buying public.

Advances in technology mean that giclee prints are now far superior to the traditional lithographs used for Limited Edition Art in the past. Up to date printing processes result in an image that has richness and depth of colour as well as superb resolution which can reveal brush strokes and the texture of the original canvas. For substantially less than the cost of a good quality piece of original contemporary art, you can have an exclusive, high-quality artwork.

An added advantage is that art publishers only produce Limited Editions of works that they regard particularly highly and that they believe have investment potential. The publishers know what sells well and, therefore, can potentially increase in value. So there is no risk of buying a high-priced original that may not retain its value. Bear in mind that just because an artwork is original it is not necessarily of high quality and does not necessarily have much originality, whereas a Limited Edition will only be produced from the highest quality original artwork.

Limited Edition reproductions are far superior to mass-produced modern art prints both in the printing process, the quality of the inks and the quality of the canvas or paper substrate. And when produced to Fine Art Trade Guild standards the inks and substrate are assured of being of the very highest quality.

As well as the assurance of quality printing, all genuine Editions will have a numbered Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist as an indication of the artist’s approval of the piece and of its authenticity.

The satisfaction of owning a genuine piece of art of which very few exist is huge, and the opportunity to do this at an affordable cost are the main advantages of investing in Limited Edition Art Prints.

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Source by Michelle Symonds

A Tribute to the Undervalued Ukiyo – E Master Koryusai

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Introduction

Isoda Koryusai (c.1735-90) originally a samurai became, after the death of his master, the lord of Tsuchiya, a so-called ronin (a lordless knight) and a ‘floating man’. Most of these ‘floating people’ ended up in low water but Koryusai chose to be a painter and a designer of woodblock prints. At first he was most probably a student of Nishimura Shigenaga (1697-1756) but his friend and Ukiyo-e master Harunobu (c.1725-1770) had the greatest influence on his work. It was Harunobu who gave him the go (pseudonym) Koryusai, his real name was Masakatsu, which he had used once himself in the past. The respect and admiration for his teacher were so great that Koryusai developed his own style not until Harunobu died. He exceeded in different print formats and Ukiyo-e genres especially in the pillar print format and the shunga (erotic) genre which will be treated in the following paragraphs.

Pillar Print

Koryusai achieved remarkable results in the long and narrow format of the pillar print (hashira-e) using an unique style of opulent, rich and decorative coloring and for reintroducing the use of opaque orange (tan) which had characterized the hand-colored prints of the past. He also utilized the vertical size of this format to give it the appearance of a hanging scroll (kakemono) acquiring a certain stratification. As in the conventional style of Japanese landscape painting the eyes of the viewer start at the bottom of the image leading the eye to the middle part and then to the higher part depiciting the background. In general hashira-e are rare because at the time they were attached to wooden columns as part of the Japanese interior and therefore more susceptible to damage. But due to the substantial quantity of pillar prints Koryusai designed in this format a lot of his designs have survived.

Erotic Work

“In color and line, in the creation of the total atmosphere of physical love, the best of Koryusai’s erotic color prints are unsurpassed in Japanese art; and this particularly explains the high esteem in which he is held among connoisseurs – for few people have ever pursued the cult of artistic erotica as assiduously as the Japanese”. (Richard Lane)

During Harunobu and Koryusai’s period of activity government censorship was rather loose giving them the opportunity to experiment within the genre of shunga. Sometimes they even signed their designs often positioning them within the frame of a sliding door or screen. Koryusai’s early work resembles that of Harunobu but he gradually developed his own style using characteristic vivid colors (his famous orange!), expressing a multi-hued vitality and depicting more realistic figures. Initially woodblock artists worked in the chuban format (ca. 265 x 195 mm) until Koryusai introduced the larger oban format (ca. 390 x 265 mm) in the multi-colour printing medium creating two masterpiece series called ‘Sensual Colors, A Phoenix Released in the Field’ and ‘Twelve Holds of Love’ which were published in ca.1775. In the chuban format his most famous series is ‘Prosperous Flowers of the Elegant Twelve Seasons’ (ca.1773) depicting amorous encounters for each of the twelve months.

Conclusion

If one examines the literature on the history of Ukiyo-e and in particular the artist Koryusai one realises the overall consensus among critics on his excellent craftmanship, originality and pioneering within this Japanese art. With the overall acknowledgement of his genius the question why he is so undervalued until this day becomes more explicit. Probably one of the reasons was Koryusai’s modest personality and the loyalty to his teacher and friend Harunobu sometimes even signing with his name. Jack Hillier raises an interesting theory in his book ‘The Japanese Print – A New Approach’ when he opts:

“There is always, especially among collectors, a tendency to make comparison between artist and artist, and with Koryusai it is perhaps a case of we look before and after and pine for what is not”.

Important Contemporaries

Chobunsai Eishi (1756-1829)

Torii Kiyonaga (1752-1815)

Eishosai Choki (act. ca. 1789-1795)

Chokyosai Eiri (act. ca. 1789-1801)

Toshusai Sharaku (act. 1794-95)

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 -1806)

Katsukawa Shuncho (act. ca.1780s-early 1800s)

Katsukawa Shunsho (1726-93)

Literature

‘Shunga, the Art of Love in Japan’ (1975) – Tom and Mary Evans

‘The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga’ (Vol.3) (1995) – R. Lane

‘Japanese Erotic Prints’ (2002) – Inge Klompmakers

‘Japanese Erotic Fantasies’ (2005) – C. Uhlenbeck and M. Winkel

‘The Japanese Print – A New Approach’ (1960) – J.Hillier

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Source by Marijn Kruijff

Where Do Bounty Hunters and the Martial Arts Cross Paths?

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Many people who write me asking how one should get started in the bail enforcement industry often include their martial arts backgrounds as a lead in to the question at hand. I often chuckle at that but one rent email did pose the question, “How will my martial arts background apply to bounty hunting?”

Bounty Hunters, I prefer Bail Enforcement Agents or Bail Investigators, by definition deal with dangerous situations every day they go to work. We are often sticking our heads into the proverbial lion’s mouth every time we attempt to take a bail-secured defendant into custody by serving a civil bond forfeiture warrant attached to a criminal failure to appear capias. It’s easy to forget that what we do on a daily basis, oftentimes alone and poorly armed, is a MAJOR EVENT requiring highly trained SWAT teams within most law enforcement departments!

In my experience, which is longer and more varied than most in the bail bond recovery business, 1 out of every 100 people I have taken to jail for a bail bondsman will react violently to the apprehension- but the violence ranges widely between simple resistance to someone trying to shoot me with a firearm of some sort. Luckily, 97% of these violent encounters do not require any use of force beyond the simple application of some “pain compliance” methods. Thankfully, I have only had to use an Air-Taser once and point my firearm at a defendant or a co-actor once.

What happens in these violent situations is that we must immediate apply the use of force continuum, which plainly states that bail enforcers shall use only that force which is reasonable and lawful, given the facts and circumstances known at the time of the event to effectively bring an incident under control. “Reasonableness” of the use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable investigator on the scene at the time of the incident. A bail enforcement agent, who is authorized by the surety on a bail piece, who makes or attempts to make an arrest need not retreat or desist from his efforts by reason of resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested; nor shall such investigator be deemed an aggressor or lose his right to self-defense by the use of reasonable force to affect the arrest or to prevent escape or to overcome resistance.

Reasonably, I cannot shoot a defendant for resisting the application of handcuffs if he does not pose an imminent threat to my own life. This is where the pain compliance techniques that can be learned via many martial art styles or a system known as CDT® (Compliance, Direction and Take-down) are most appropriately applied. Simply put these techniques consist of low level stunning, activation points, escorts and compliance techniques that can be used to control another person without causing permanent damage; hostility management, anger diffusion and escape should also be applied when applicable.

“Standing Ju Jitsu,” Aikido and Judo are all outstanding martial arts in their real-world application in the typical scenarios one might encounter in most bail enforcement actions. They are my choice of techniques to use but it can take a lifetime to master each art’s own nuances and complexities; this may not be practical for the new or aspiring fugitive recovery investigator. Perhaps the next best choice for most should be CDT®, which is a personal protection system and not a martial art. Its creators claim that it can be learned quickly and effectively no matter what your gender or size. Most importantly, CDT® techniques can be learned and mastered through a properly structured training course in a limited amount of time and are proven to work effectively against any gender and body size. I hear good thing about it from my friends in law enforcement however, when the creators make dubious claims such as “the most effective non-deadly force system in the world” I have to stop and give pause.

Either way, when a bail agent needs to utilize less-than-deadly force by means of empty handed tactics, that person must be able to do so quickly, skillfully, and with reduced risk and liability to all concerned. The longer the investigator has to be engaged with a defendant or those who mean to prevent his arrest, the greater risk of sustaining injury or even death. Furthermore, depending upon a defendant’s actions or the situation, the BEA may have to increase or decrease the amount of force employed. The techniques discussed allow for the escalation and de-escalation of lawful force without causing serious or deadly injury and that’s a big plus in my book when it comes to reducing the liability often involved with going “hands on” with anyone.

This is the nexus between the martial arts, their real world application as combative arts and the modern day bounty hunter.

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Source by L Scott Harrell

A Short History of Import Markings and Dating of Japanese Ceramics

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Pre 1891- Items imported to the U.S. did not have to be marked with the country of their origin.

Most Japanese ceramics were not stamped with any backstamp or they were marked with the Artist’s or Manufacture’s name in Japanese.

1891 – 1921 – Starting in March, 1891, after enactment of the McKinley Tariff Act, all goods imported to the U.S. were required to be marked in English with the country of origin.

In 1914 the Tariff Act has amended to make the words “Made In” in addition to the country of origin mandatory. This was not rigorously enforced until around 1921 so some pre 1921 pieces can still be found without the “Made In” wordage.

Most Japanese pieces from this period were marked “Nippon” or “Hand Painted Nippon”. They quite often will have a company logo. You will find a few pieces from this era just marked Japan and a few with no markings at all.

1921 – 1941 -In August, 1921 the U.S. Custom Service ruled that Nippon could no longer be used and all goods where to be backstamped with “Made in Japan”. Some items got into the U.S. with just a “Japan” stamp. In an effort to save on labor costs not all pieces in a setting were backstamped. This means that you can have an 8 place setting that was imported as a 12 place setting with no stamps at all. Prior to WW ll the few paper stickers that made it to the U.S. were very flimsy and glued on with very weak glue.

1941 – 1945 – This was WW ll so there were no imports from Japan. Imports from Japan did not really start back up until the summer of 1947.

1947 – 1952 – The occupation of Japan by the U.S. began in September 1945 but no items reached the U.S. from Japan until around August 1947. All imports from Japan up till 1949 had to be stamped “Occupied Japan” or “Made in Occupied Japan”.

In 1949 the U.S. Custom Service decreed that “Occupied Japan”, “Made in Occupied Japan”, “Made in Japan” or just “Japan” where acceptable. Most pieces were backstampted in black ink. Later in this period flimsy paper stickers started to show up on more and more items. Most of these were removed or fell off so these pieces can be unmarked.

1952 – Today – The vast majority of today’s Imports are marked “Japan” or “Made in Japan”. This is when the paper or foil labels came into their own. The 2 most common labels now seem to be:

1 – A small oval or rectangular shaped paper sticker. These, most likely, will be made in blue or black with white lettering.

2 – A black or red foil label with gold or silver lettering.

Some imports are still backstamped today but not many.

Caution – A lot of knockoffs were imported from China in the 1980s to early 2000s and to a lesser extent are still coming in. These are made so well that to recognize these fakes by just looking at the backstamp is almost impossible.

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Source by Mike T Hammer

Why Sealing and Painting Does Not Eliminate Odors

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The property you are considering buying has the potential to make you a lot of money. Only it has one major problem, and this problem is the reason you are able to buy this property at such a bargain. The problem is odor, odor left behind by a host of pets.

Should you seal or paint the floors and walls to trap the odors? Will that solve the problem for you? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

Sealers are intended to block stains on walls from bleeding through and staining new paint applied to a wall. They are not designed to seal or block gases (odors) from escaping or passing through. Some-but not most-paints do produce a continuous membrane finish that is not gas permeable. Consider, however, that only one of many sides of an object like a piece of drywall or flooring is being painted, this approach offers limited odor control and success.

Both fire and tobacco smoke are exceptions. But even long-term contamination of walls and ceilings with tobacco smoke can be sealed in only after most of the tobacco tars have been washed away with Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP). The remaining tobacco smoke odor can be eliminated with chlorine dioxide gas. It is a small packet of powders that when exposed to water vapor, produces a gas called chlorine dioxide. This gas oxidizes the smoke residue and removes the odor completely in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Sealing urine odors into flooring can work on plywood flooring, but a careful analysis of the process reveals some serious flaws. Sealing sheet flooring actually reduces the amount of water and water vapor getting to the urea salt (produced by the urine residue) so that the salt does not produce the odor in the form of mercaptan gas.

When the floor is put back in to service, however, small movements of the surface caused by occupant traffic and furniture will cause the sealers to crack and leak water vapor in and mercaptan gas out. The cracks are large enough to allow water vapor and mercaptan gas to escape, but too small to allow this and water liquid to get in to work on the urea salt. Also, floor boards have six sides. Sealing one side is not enough to fix the problem.

Using sealers or paint to seal concrete floors is more effective, but most sealers and paint are gas permeable. Additionally, scratches and wear spots in the sealer or paint will cause mercaptan gas to leak past the seal again, creating the problem mentioned above.

Heavily contaminated wood and concrete flooring present yet another problem. When the urea salt gets wet from water drawn from the wood or concrete, it expands and will actually lift sealers and paint off the floor. When these blisters burst, the odor returns.

So if sealing and painting doesn’t work, what does?

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Source by Martin Meyer

How Do I Repair My Mayan Hammock?

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OK! It happened. In spite of your best intentions you wore buttons or belt loops into your hammock, and broke one or more of the strings. What do you do now? In this article we will cover the repairs of three of the most common mishaps that can befall the Mayan hammock.

  • Mishap number one, and the most common, is the breaking of one or two string because they snagged something on your clothing. The repair is pretty simple. Take both ends of the string and tie a single weaver’s knot. What is that? Make a U shape in one of the strings. Then bring the end of the other string up through the back of the U, around the back, and then under itself. Pull tight. Trim the edge; and work the string back into the weave. Repeat for any other broken strings.
  • Mishap number two starts out like mishap number one except you have nylon or mercerized cotton strings that don’t break easily. In this case you end up with a long loop pulled out of the weave. In this case you will carefully pull the string from each side of the loop so the loop almost disappears, and you have two smaller loops, one on each side. Then pull the string from the far side of each loop making further smaller loops. Keep doing this, tracing the string through the length of the hammock until you have only a series of small loops along the hammock. Then take the end of the hammock and shake it vigorously. If necessary, you can gently tug and spread the weave around the subject string until the weave looks good.
  • Mishap number three is the bad one. It can happen when your teenagers have their friends over; and no one quite knows how almost a third of the hammock was sliced open! Trying to retie and weave this mess together would make a grown man cry. So don’t try. Get some fishing line or other thin but strong string. Go just past one end of the wound and tie the weave tightly shut with a strong knot. Then evenly and carefully spiral stitch along the full length of the wound, making sure to get at least a couple of strands of good hammock cord on either side of the tear. Continue past the end of the tear and tie another tight knot. You can trim off all the string beards hanging down, and you are done. This is not a beautiful repair, but it will last for years.

The beauty of these repairs is that even when they don’t look so great, the comfort of the hammock is generally not affected at all.

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Source by Tom Sloane

Collecting Vintage Poster Art

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Collecting vintage posters has become very popular, and the reason for this is because there are only a very few genuine vintage posters available in today’s market. Many vintage posters come with a very expensive price tag while others you can find at a reasonably low price, depending on popularity and the genre. Here are some things that may help you when you begin collecting vintage poster art.

Modernism, Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Symbolism are examples of period art. Posters also come is various sizes, designs and subject matter. There are also many different types of posters such as western genre posters, vintage movie posters, military posters, advertisements and political posters. The list goes on and on but choose what interests you the most and enjoy what you are doing.

When collecting vintage posters you will find that some are more collectible than others. World War II posters and autographed posters are rare finds and also more expensive. If you are purchasing an autographed poster, make sure the autograph is authentic, if it is authentic the owner will generally offer a certificate of authenticity with your purchase. Whether you are collecting for fun or because you have a passion for a specific period or subject, collecting vintage art is not only extremely interesting but can be profitable too.

During some research I found that an original German poster (a Fritz Lang Film) titled the Metropolis sold for over $700,000. Only a few are in existence to date and one is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. So you can see for yourself that vintage art posters can be an extremely expensive hobby.

When looking to purchase your vintage poster you will want to make sure that it is not a reproduction and that it is genuine original and authentic, what condition the poster is in (mint, near mint, new, slightly used, etc. You will also want to know if the poster has undergone any kink restoration and how the poster has been stored and preserved up until now.

If you are interested in history, political posters are rare and highly prized, not just for the artistry of the poster but because of the place it holds in our history. Vintage horror posters are also highly prized and much sought after, such as The Bride of Frankenstein (which is to be auctioned off in November 2010 by Heritage Auctions) There are many collectors around the world that will pay a very high price for one of these rare vintage posters.

Today vintage poster collecting has become big business. Begin your collection with what you are interested in, be it films, movies, whatever pleases you and your finances.

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Source by Michele Anderson

Transitional Style Interiors – Sophisticated Mogul

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Transitional interiors have the best of both worlds: traditional and contemporary.Staying within the familiar realm of tradition but making it perky with fresh new ideas. Traditional architecture and designs carry a beautiful appeal and when freshened up they stand out as even more classic. An updated historic home carries its character yet the contemporary furnishings give it a modern edge.

Taking inspiration from the past, it’s really about the antique architectural design, the veranda arches and vintage doors with beautiful carved authentic detail. Hand crafted in dark woods the patina plays perfectly with neutral walls where you can display contemporary art. Pale blue carved armoires, green floral wardrobe cabinets, muted red chests seep colors into the interiors. Bring tone-on-tone furniture and furnishings like the oxidized wood accent cabinets or the aged white console, playing down the dramatic angle.

Burnished brass with soft, warm undertones accents the wood patinas of the cabinets. A huge floor mirror made from an old architectural door frame gives a focal point to the living room.Crystal chandeliers complement traditional elegance nicely.Symmetry is essential to keep the room balanced and in harmony. The huge TV screen is balanced with 2 arches on either side that have been converted into bookshelves. Damask fabric on the sofa adds punch without making it too contemporary. Extravagant silhouettes, traditional weave fabrics and embellished textiles draw attention to the walls. Carved wall panels of the Tree of Life accented by simple straight drapes that just skim the floor, clean and neat lines, too much fabric gives an untidy effect.

Globally inspired carvings and sculptures collected by you on your travels are displayed on the walls with accent lighting that focuses on their unique artistic detail. Broad leaf ferns and green foliage play beautifully with the dark patina wood and the neutral walls.The vintage whitewashed screen with iron work adds interest to the simply furnished living room. The turquoise blue coffee table adds a pop of color, muted yet brings the room alive. Vivid textures and weaves of handloom cottons throws add interest while keeping the contemporary style.

The bedroom with a simple upholstered bed has a unique hand crafted armoire with beautiful crown molding and muted patina, perfectly in balance with the vintage media console. A few select pieces give a room a feel of refined elegance.Harmony and balancing traditional design with modern style, interiors that are focused on comfort and style, transitional interiors carry a classic ambiance of sophisticated elegance.

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Source by Era Chandok

A Netsuke of More Than Two Hundred Thousand Dollars!

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A netsuke (net-skeh) is a miniature sculpture developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. The kimono, the traditional form of Japanese dress, had no pockets. Men suspended pouches (inro) on a silk cord from their sash (obi). To stop the cord from slipping through the “obi”, a small toggle is attached. That small toggle is the “netsuke”.

Dutchman

The netsuke referred to in the headline of this article was auctioned at the German auctionhouse Lempertz on 27 November 2004. It was estimated at $60.000,- (Euro 40.000) but was hammered at a sensational US$230.000,- (Euro 154.000). This unusually large (H 5 2/5″) ivory netsuke of a standing Dutchman holding a dead hare over his shoulder which is attached to a gun, dated late 18th Century, stands out by two characteristics: the somewhat caricature-like facial features and elegant dress, as well as his occupation as a hunter whose bait is an indication of the “South Barbarian meat eaters”.

Why US$230.000,-?

The exraordinary hammer price of US$230.000,- for this specific piece can be explained by looking at its history, theme, craftmanship, condition and off course by its rarity. The object made its way over 100 years in famous netsuke collections, and was already publicized in 1895 by the Japonist art dealer Marcus B. Huish. The representation of the Westerner, especially that of the Dutchman in Japanese art (in woodblock prints and netsuke) is a much coveted subject. This because of the striking depiction by the Japanese artists of this “strange” people from another world giving the beholder a very insightful and comic explanation of the encounter of two very different cultures. The unknown creator, it is unsigned, of this particular netsuke had to be a masterful craftsman because of his magnificent eye for detail and its elegant look. The specific subject of the Dutchman is not uncommon but a quality piece in this condition in combination with its age is a very rare find.

More examples

During the last decades there are more examples of highlights in prices concerning netsukes. On May 1990 at auctionhouse Sotheby’s in London a netsuke of a horse was hammered at US$260,000,- and through an anitques dealer at Oriental Treasures and Points West in Honolulu a netsuke representing a “Awabi Girl and Octopus” (like Hokusai’s famous “Dream of Fisherman’s Wife” shunga!) was sold at approx. US$250,000.

Themes

Netsuke carvers mostly worked in a bounded area of subjects and themes such as scenes of daily life, animals, erotic encounters (shunga), the signs of the zodiac or subjects with a mythical background. Whatever its subject or theme netsuke is a very attractive and highly collectable art form and the interesting pieces will only continue to increase in value.

Books

One of the most referred books among netsuke collectors are Lazarnick’s ‘ The Signature Book of Netsuke’ and from the same author ‘Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures’. Both have been issued in limited editions, the first one in 500 copies and the latter in 876 copies. These books are unmissable for the serious netsuke collector.

Netsuke Organisations:

International Netsuke Society

International Netsuke Carvers’ Association

Japan Netsuke Society (Nihon Netsuke Kenkyukai)

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Source by Marijn Kruijff

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