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AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF A CARP
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF A CARP
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF A CARP
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF A CARP

EDO-MEIJI PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED KIYOAKI WITH CURSIVE MONOGRAM (KAO)

Details
AN IRON ARTICULATED SCULPTURE OF A CARP
EDO-MEIJI PERIOD (19TH CENTURY), SIGNED KIYOAKI WITH CURSIVE MONOGRAM (KAO)
The iron carp constructed of numerous hammered plates jointed inside the body, the body bends, the fins move, the details of fins and scales finely chiseled, the eyes of shakudo embellished wiht gilt; signature and cursive monogram (kao) inlaid in gold on underside
15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm.) long

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Takaaki Murakami
Takaaki Murakami Vice President, Specialist and Head of Department

Lot Essay

In Japan, the carp is a strong fish with a long lifespan that relates to spiritual power and the wish for human longevity. In the eight-century Chronicles of Japan (Nihon shoki), Emperor Keiko is described releasing carp into a pond for enjoyment, a custom in place ever since. In addition to representing the divinity of the emperor, carp can also serve as a vehicle or messenger of Shinto deities.
In Chinese mythology, li yue long men is the story of the mighty carp struggling upstream against the currents of the Yellow River, leaping over the river’s Dragon Gate and transforming themselves into dragons. The proverb remains a wish for success and high rank. In Japan, the story of the Dragon Gate relates to strength, perseverance and bravery, a favorite emblem of the samurai and a ubiquitous image in modern culture, such as the colorful carp banners flown all over Japan on Boy’s Day.

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