This is a stunning set of two "shishi okimono" bronze sculptures made in Japan during the Showa era in the early 20th Century. The figures were made by the famous sculptor Shuzan Hideyama and are signed by the artist.  

 

The word "okimono" is Japanese for a free standing object. Okimonos became popular in the 17th Century to adorn the houses of distinguished citizens. Many okimonos are small, but in the 19th Century they were increasingly made for export to the West and eventually became larger, often made in bronze rather than the traditional wood or ivory. 

 

A "shishi" is a mythical beast that probably came to Japan in the 7th or 8th Century from China via Korea. The Japanese shishi combines elements from different cultures: the Korean “Koma-inu” (Korean dog), and the Chinese “Kara-shishi” or "foo dog" (guardian lion).

 

You can see that combination of dog and lion in these beautiful figures. They are strong, phenomenal and fiery; in fact they seem to have fire coming out of the mouths as well as their behinds. The bronze is beautifully sculpted, suggesting the curly fur of the dog and the manes of the lion. Each figure has a unique expression: one seems ready for the attack, the other seems to sit back and carefully observe you - perhaps to jump on you later.

 

These figures would be perfect for an entrance way or on display in a large living space; their great energy would give iconic ambiance to the space.

 

The shishi are marked by the artist on the underside.

 

CONDITION REPORT Both shishi are in perfect antique condition.

 

DIMENSIONS each shishi is 38cm (15") high, 32cm (12.5") wide and 21cm (8.25") deep.

 

SHIPPING As these are very heavy items, please ask for a shipping quote. The shishi are offered without the red pedestals shown in the pictures. Shipping will be charged separately after purchase.

Set of 2 bronze Shishi Okimonos, signed by Shuzan Hideyama, Showa early 20th C

SKU: A-BRO02
£5,200Price
  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 

     

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    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

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