Antique Pair of Japanese Gold Lacquered and Stylized Chrysanthemum Temple Candlesticks


Dimensions: 19-1/2” tall (including brass candle fitting)

Offered is a tall pair of Japanese gilded Buddhist chrysanthemum candlesticks (shodukai) made of carved wood and gold relief Chrysanthemum design circa the early 19th century (late Edo Period). The pair is carved in the classic form with long fluted and sectioned stems with an inverted “gadroon” fluted hemispherical base. The exterior surfaces are covered with gold leaf with a red lacquer undercoating that shows through in places giving an excellent patination of the surface. Each has brass fittings affixed to wood and lacquered stylized floral forms. Each spike (“pricket”) was made to hold a traditional warosoku (ikarigata-shaped candle_see sixth image).

Provenance: This is one of three lacquered religious objects that we purchased in 2002 on Sado-ga-shima, an island located in the eastern part of Japan on the northern coast of the Sea of Japan. Once a place for exiled emperors and the famous Nichiren (a Buddhist priest who was exiled here as well), the island now affords visitors a chance to experience an unhurried pace of life and a wealth of natural scenic beauty.

The only antique dealer on the island shared an image of the Buddhist Worship Hall, on the Jishu School temple grounds, (Haiden_see fifth image), where a monk was assigned and practiced his spiritual life. This pair of Temple Candlesticks were used on an altar in his quarters in support of his daily prayers. All of his artifacts were returned to his family after his death who stored all of these religious artifacts in their family Kura (religious depository) and held them until all of these pieces were consigned to this dealer. The consignment shop attendant said there was no box or information about their origin.

Condition: Excellent means the piece is perfect, totally original, and complete with no fading, cracks, or restoration, and retains its wonderful patina which suggests a degree of slight wear that corresponds to its vintage. This pair has been kept in beautiful treasured condition. 


See additional writings on our website related to this subject: Under our Browse and Learn section, please refer to The Japanese are known for their carving and lacquer work, which is exceptional, and is one of the most worldwide collectible art objects from Japan.