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An exceptional pair of multi metal Phoenixes mounted on turtles (Japanese, 1868 - 1912).

A large pair of Bronze Ho Ho Birds (Mythical Japanese creatures similar to the Phoenix). They are standing on the backs of Minogame, (long tailed tortoise.) The figures are designed to be symmetrical. One bird has its right wing extended whilst the opposing bird has its left wing extended. Similarly, one of the tortoises is looking to the right whilst the other looks to his left to create a perfect reflection.

The birds are decorated with fine inlay work using precious metals including Gold, Silver and Copper, there is an intricate dragon design to the closed wing of each bird. Similarly, each tortoise with a gold cloud inlay work and gold eyes.

Each Okimono is signed to the underside of the tortoise "Muroe Kichibei of the Etchu Province in the Country of Great Japan.

Phoenix 

The phoenix is a powerful symbol in Japan, used to represent the Empress. When used to decorate an object or house it symbolises the loyalty and honesty of the people that live there, traditionally a phoenix only stays when a ruler is without corruption.

Minogame

A minogame is a Japanese mythological creature based on the tortoise. It is believed that once a tortoise reaches 1000 years old it becomes a minogame, the long tail is actually alge and weeds which have grown on the shell due to the extreme longevity of the beast.
Due to their old age minogame represent longevity and are often seen with the luck god Fukurokuju.

Dragon

Dragons are hugely significant in Asian culture. Known as the Ryu or Tatsu in Japan, they are closely related to the Chinese Long and Korean Yong.  Like all Asian dragons they lack wings and are serpent-like in form. The Japanese dragons rarely fly and usually reside in or near the sea and other bodies of water.

Japanese dragons have positive symbolism. They are good and represent wisdom, generosity and they are portrayed as using their powers to help mankind. (Unlike the Dragons of Western mythology.)

Generally you can tell a Chinese dragon from a Japanese by counting the toes, a Chinese having four or five and a Japanese having three.

Muroe Kichibei (1841-1903)

Muroe Kichibei was a metalworker who lived and worked in Takaoka and Kanazawa, he is known for his very fine works including many Buddhist subjects and animals.

Dimensions

82cm high

Price on application



Condition report

Excellent

Stock number

KPME29
Open (by appointment) Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm

The BADA Standard

  • Since 1918, BADA has been the leading association for the antiques and fine art trade
  • Members are elected for their knowledge, integrity and quality of stock
  • Our clients are protected by BADA’s code of conduct
  • Our dealers’ membership is reviewed and renewed annually
  • Bada.org is a non-profit site: clients deal directly with members and they pay no hidden fees
Click here for more information on the BADA Standard