mongolian archer

unsigned tobacco pouch

19th century

with kagamibuta ensuite

3 3/4 by 3 5/8 in., 9.5 by 9.2 cm

the tooled leather tobacco pouch decorated with gold and black lacquered floral motif; with mixed metal clasp in the shape of a mongolian archer, details in gilt; the shibuichi ojime in the shape of a sake jar; and kagamibuta netsuke with ivory bowl and mixed-metal plate decorated in iroe-takazogan with the three heroes of the Han Dynasty, details in shakudo and gilt; unsigned

The kagamibuta depicts the Three Heroes of the Chinese Han Dynasty (2nd-3rd century). From left to right, Chohi (Chang Fe/Zhang Fei, with spreading beard and bright gilt eyes- according to legend his eyes were blue), Emperor Gentoku (Chao Lieh-ti/Zhao Liedi, holding the Imperial fan), and Kwanyu (Kuan Yu/Guanyu, fingering his long beard). The three warriors famously pledged an oath of brotherhood to each other in Chohi's peach orchard. Their various battles eventually resulted in Gentoku becoming emperor and thus establishing what would be known as the Three Kingdom Period. Their heroic tales were celebrated in a 14th century Chinese epic novel, Sanguo Yanyi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms).



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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
April 2, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475