The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, February 12, 2016

The hawk has landed: Mysterious Japanese sculpture to make 120K at Bonhams
The Japanese call these mysterious sculptures jizai okimono. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- A fully articulated iron sculpture of a hawk by the master Japanese sculptor Itao Shinjiro will be offered at Bonhams New Bond Street sale of Fine Japanese Art on 16th May where it is expected to fetch as much as £120,000.

The Japanese call these mysterious sculptures jizai okimono, and while the earliest known examples appear almost 300 years ago, it is not clear for what purpose they were made, or from where the complicated manufacturing techniques originated.

What is known is that the works were first produced in Japan by the master armourers of the Edo Period (1603-1868). This was the most peaceful time in Japanese history, and the various craftsmen and armourers who had previously met the samurai’s incessant demand for armour and weaponry were forced to turn their skills to other pursuits. This shift saw everyday objects such as tea kettles, boxes and sword guards transformed into works of extraordinary skill and craftsmanship. But still the armourers were unsatisfied, and so, possibly inspired by the Chinese, they began to demonstrate their mastery by constructing ever more elaborate articulated sculptures that perfectly mimicked the natural world.

After the opening of Japan to the west in the nineteenth century, these makers began to work in concert with the government to promote industry, exporting decorative art and participating in domestic and international expositions. It is in this way that these astonishing sculptures found their way to the west. They have been of source of fascination for collectors ever since.

The perfectly formed, naturalistically rendered hawk to be offered at Bonhams can move its body: the limbs and claws are also freely movable and the head can be turned 180 degrees, while the neck, tail and wings can be shortened or stretched out at will, enabling it to imitate the movements of its real-life counterparts.

The lot first appears as the 'Adjustable Iron Statue of Hawk' which won a Silver Medal at the 1894 Spring Exhibition of the Japan Art Association. The admiring English-language commentary, while allowing that articulated animals might have originated in China, boasts 'we have certainly succeeded in making a nobler and more practical use of it than the Chinese ever seem to have thought of. Mr. Itawo [sic], our artist, is a metalworker of no common ability, having a particular aptitude for the kind above mentioned in wrought or hammered iron.’

The sale will also include a wealth of examples of Japanese arts and crafts such as prints, paintings, screens, sculpture, lacquer, netsuke and inro, ceramics, cloisonné enamel, ivory carvings, metalwork, armour, swords and sword fittings.

Today's News

May 3, 2013

Exhibition of nude photography around 1900 on view at Berlin's Photography Museum

Researchers say first permanent English settlers in America resorted to cannibalism

Unreleased Bob Dylan anti-nuclear bomb song to be sold at Christie's London in June

Exhibition of paintings by the preeminent realist painter Claudio Bravo opens at Marlborough

The jewels of the Museo de Arte de Ponce collection presented like never before

Exhibition of recent paintings and sculpture by Anselm Kiefer opens at Gagosian Gallery in New York

Fathom: Spencer Finch's debut solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery opens in New York

Kansas City's Kemper Museum founders step down from Board, new Chairman appointed

David Platzker appointed Curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books

New photographs and sculptures by Sara VanDerBeek on view at Metro Pictures

RR Auctions announces 2013 massive Space & Aviation Autograph & Artifact Auction

Wolfgang Tillmans' eleventh solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery opens in New York

Top of the bill: Giant rubber duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman sails into Hong Kong

The hawk has landed: Mysterious Japanese sculpture to make 120K at Bonhams

Tour-de-force of large-scale works on canvas by Kim Dorland opens at Mike Weiss Gallery

¡Adelante! The Mexican Museum moves forward in 2013

Three world record set for glass at Bonhams

David Jarrett joins Antiquorum Auctioneers as horological consultant

Exhibition of new work by Tim Hawkinson opens at The Pace Gallery in New York

Los Angeles County Museum of Art highlights Henri Matisse's final commissioned artwork

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Pace/MacGill Gallery presents a survey of privately produced photographs by Irving Penn

2.- New Bosch painting owned by Nelson-Atkins unveiled on eve of 500th celebrations

3.- World's greatest cat painting on view at Portland Art Museum

4.- Exhibition examines the role of gardens in the paintings of Monet and his contemporaries

5.- Roman fresco hidden beneath the streets of London uncovered by archaeologists

6.- Exhibition of photographs by Peter Lindbergh opens at Gagosian Gallery Athens

7.- Getty Museum acquires Gentileschi's 'Danaë' for $30.5 million at Sotheby's New York

8.- The Fondation Beyeler presents Jean Dubuffet's work in a major retrospective

9.- Berlin mulls uses for Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' abandoned love nest

10.- France and Netherlands seal historic 160 million euro Rembrandt paintings purchase

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful