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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5688
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have a bronze Japanese vase with Japanese imprint on the

Customer Question

I have a bronze Japanese vase with Japanese imprint on the bottom. Has a old woman/man holding the world imprinted. Is it common?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your bronze vase.Thanks for the picture of the mark on the bottom, that's really helpful.Could you very kindly attach a photo of the vase itself.Also, how big is it?Many thanks and wait to hear,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its roughly 25cm tall. Apparently has a sky deity on it.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks so much for the extra details and the photo, what a wonderful piece!I'll have a full answer and a value for you in the morning. It's gotten late here, well past pumpkin time!Best wishes,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All good I will wait, I look forward to it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How did we go?
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, life intervened today! This is a lovely example of Japanese art bronze and dates to the late Meiji or early Taisho era, circa 1900 - 1920. The bronze 'drip' gives the date away. This was quite a fashionable motif at the time.This was a period when Japanese artists excelled in bronze work and produced great quantities of very high quality pieces such as this, often adorned with figures and animals in relief, with great realism and attention to detail .And this wonderful vase with its depiction of a figure holding the large disk of the heavens is no exception. The figure is most likely meant to be Otafuku (aka, Uzume) who is the goddess of happiness in the Japanese tradition. Flying through the sky is pair of cranes or tsuru, sacred symbols of peace, longevity and marital fidelity in the oriental tradition. Cranes were believed to live for a thousand years and mate for life. The second part of that is certainly true. So a vase decorated like this would often be given as a marriage gift.The patination on the bronze is also very attractively done and please don't be tempted to polish it as you will decimate its value. Collectors much prefer this original finish.The artist's seal mark on the base is written in a stylized and abbreviated kanji that is hard to decipher, it looks like it's:旨曙正However the exact identity is a bit of a distraction as there are so few names that are known about in the west and followed by collectors specifically and this is not one of those.This type of piece is identified simply as "Tokyo school bronze" as most of the artist marks like the one on the base of yours remain unattributed.As for value, Imperial Japanese bronzes are not doing as well as they were a decade or so ago, but these good ones are still in demand.If you were to sell at a good antique auction house or one that specialized in Asian arts such as I.M. Chait in Los Angeles, it would fetch in the range of $400 - $600. It therefore has a retail or replacement value of $1200 and is what you should insure it for.I do hope this helps!Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in any way with this, I would be glad to.Best wishes,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Robert, excellent summary.
Expert:  Robert S. replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome! Thanks for asking me about it, it was a pleasure to see.

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