Jingasa with decorated dragons

Vangelli Gallery

Jingasa with decorated dragons

Wood and Lacquer

Japan

Late Edo

1860 ca.

43 x 40 cm.

The dragon is in lacquer and the ornaments are chased (“Luchidashi”)

 

The Jingasa (“war hat”) is the typical war hat worn by low-ranking soldiers, and it was cheaper and more unassuming than the elaborate Kabuto, thus making it affordable to less wealthy soldiers.
There were, however, as in this case, more refined Jingasa for Samurai who preferred to wear something lighter during the execution of civil duties or other less official contexts.
The Jingasa develops during the Edo period in imitation of the straw hat commonly used by the population (Kasa). The shapes that these helmets can take are various: in this case the outline seems to be a shield.

 

Information taken from the catalogue of the exhibition “Samurai” (February-June 2009), Royal Palace of Milan, from the Koelliker’s Collection, curated by Giuseppe Piva and Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta

Advertisements

Jingasa

Vangelli Gallery

 

Jingasa

Wood and Lacquer

Japan

Early Meiji period

1870 ca.

43 x 40 cm.

 

The Jingasa (“war hat”) is the typical war hat worn by low-ranking soldiers, and it was cheaper and more unassuming than the elaborate Kabuto, thus making it affordable to less wealthy soldiers.
There were, however, as in this case, more refined Jingasa for Samurai who preferred to wear something lighter during the execution of civil duties or other less official contexts.
The Jingasa develops during the Edo period in imitation of the straw hat commonly used by the population (Kasa). The shapes that these helmets can take are various: in this case the outline seems to be a shield.

 

Information taken from the catalogue of the exhibition “Samurai” (February-June 2009), Royal Palace of Milan, from the Koelliker’s Collection, curated by Giuseppe Piva and Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta

 

Head of Buddha

Buddha Head

Head of Buddha

Carved and gilded wood and lacquerware

Burma

Late Konbaung Dynasty,  1870 – 1880 ca.

47 x 20 x 24

The semi closed meditative eyes and the ripple shapes on the neck make this head most probably part of a larger statue of the Buddha sitting in the Lotus position.

In Burma (now known as Myanmar) the prominent branch of Buddhism is the Theravāda tradition.

The Theravāda path to liberation from human suffering is constituted by the “seven relay chariots” also known as the “Seven Stages of Purification” :

1 Purification of Conduct
2 Purification of Mind
3 Purification of View
4 Purification by Overcoming Doubt
5 Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What Is Path and Not Path
6 Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice
7 Purification by Knowledge and Vision
which is the culmination of the practice leading to liberation and Nirvana.

Burma is also “is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population and proportion of income spent on religion” (Cone & Gombrich, Perfect Generosity of Prince Vessantara)

“The whole life story of the Buddha is a wonderful poem. It is so fascinating, attractive and artistic and I have never read such a wonderful poem. The emergence of the Buddha is the highest honour so far gained in the history of humanity.”
Rabindranath Tagore

photo (1)

photo

Japanese carved shells

Vangelli GalleryVangelli GalleryShell_01

Carved shells representing a peony and a carp fish.

Probably Japanese

1920 – 1930 ca.

cm. 54 x 28 x 22

 

The peony (牡丹, Botan)  is in Japan a symbol of masculinity, bravery, wealth and prosperity. This symbolism likely stems from the fact that only wealthy people could afford to care for peony bushes and trees. The peony is also the traditional flower symbol of China and the Chinese name for the peony is “sho yu”,which means “most beautiful”.

The carp is in Japan in known as “Koi” (鲤) which is a homophone for another word that means “affection” or “love”; koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship in Japan. The koi is also an often recurring symbol in Irezumi, the Japanese art of traditional tattooing.  The Koi as a symbol is very masculine. When a son is born in Japan, flags with Koi fish images are displayed. Nowadays, Koi tattoos are popular amongst men as well as women.