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Rare old Buddhist butsudan or home altar with Myōken Bodhisattva 妙見菩薩 - Japan - ca. 1850

Lot reference 16049493

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Current bid $335
Next minimum bid $360
Auction fee: 9% of the winning bid
Shipping to United States: $43.47

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$335 Bidder 4673
18-03-2018 14:44:42
$310 Bidder 4481
17-03-2018 17:01:29
$285 Bidder 9651
17-03-2018 14:51:14
$260 Bidder 5688
17-03-2018 14:49:40
$257 Bidder 9651
17-03-2018 14:49:40
$219 Bidder 5688
14-03-2018 20:52:05
$208 Bidder 3074
14-03-2018 20:52:05

Good condition. Signs of aging. No repairs. See description and photos.

Old Buddhist Butsudan (literal meaning, "Buddha altar" or "House of Buddha") with Myōken Bodhisattva 妙見菩薩 - Japan - ca. 1850

Myōken Bodhisattva, or Myōken Bosatsu in Japanese, (Japanese: 妙見菩薩) or Hokushin-sonsei-myōken Daibosatsu, is depicted as a warrior brandishing a sword over his head and wearing a helmet and armor. Among samurai and peasants, Myōken is considered the guardian of warriors, horses, and farmers. Myōken has always been worshipped by the Heike, and among them one of the first samurai, Taira-no-Masakado. Even today, he is still worshipped by the Sōma clan's lords and honorary generals, as part of the rituals of Sōma Nomaoi.

This Myōken Bodhisattva is very old and detailed. It is in good condition for its age, as depicted. Shows signs of aging (e.g. a crack).

The lacquered wood altar with gilt-wood interior is delicately carved with beautiful lock. It dates to the 20th century. It is in good condition as depicted.

Dimensions Butsudan approx.:
25 cm high, 18 cm wide (closed), 41 cm wide (open) 14,5 cm deep.

Dimensions Myōken approx.:
16,5 cm high, 11,7 cm wide, 9 cm deep.

Myōken origin = Chinese folk worship of the North Pole Star.
Myōken is the deification of the North Pole Star (Hokushin 北辰) of the Little Bear constellation (Ursa Minor), as well as the deification of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). The term Myōken 妙見 literally means heavenly eyes, heavenly sight, penetrating sight, one who sees all, or simply “good eyesight.” In Japan, worship of the northern Pole Star along with the seven stars of the Big Dipper (Hokuto Shichisei 北斗七星) is a syncretic blend of Buddhism, Taoism, Onmyōdō 陰陽道 (Yin-Yang Divination), and local kami cults, but it is especially important within Esoteric Buddhism, and from the Heian period (794-1180) onward, Myōken was venerated under various guises as the central star controlling all other celestial bodies, one believed to control the life and fortunes of the people, one who protected not only the emperor and country, but also warded off diseases, prevented calamities of fire and other disasters, increased life spans, and healed eye diseases. As a deification of the Pole Star, Myōken was also worshipped as the deity of safe voyages and navigators. In Japan, even today, s/he is venerated at both Buddhist temples and Shintō shrines.

The altar will be carefully packaged and shipped by registered post.

Nl Artemisia  top

Feedback score: 100%
Reviews given: 136
Member since: December 6, 2015
  • Fast and friendly service. My best recommendations

    PhilonDK June 11, 2018

  • Very nice item and good/fast communication.

    PhilonDK May 21, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Excellent rapide et conforme
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    jmpmali May 5, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    objet parfaitement emballé et correspondant à la commande. Vendeur à recommander.
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    Cicia06130 April 27, 2018

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Très bien
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    jipemichel April 21, 2018

View all 136 reviews


The seller will ship the item(s) within 3 working days after receiving confirmation of payment.

Shipping costs are for mainland destinations only.
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Shipping costs

United States $43.47
Austria $31.05
Belgium $18.63
Canada $43.47
Denmark $31.05
France $31.05
Germany $18.63
Ireland $31.05
Italy $31.05
Luxembourg $31.05
Netherlands $12.42
Norway $37.26
Poland $31.05
Portugal $31.05
Spain $31.05
Sweden $31.05
Switzerland $37.26
United Kingdom $31.05
Rest of Europe $37.26
Anywhere else $49.68

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You can pick up this lot from the seller: Den Haag (ZH), Netherlands.

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