Japan Mid Century Modern Ainu Japanese Bear, Higuma and Salmon Fish

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Japan, fine old medium scale carving of a bear, Higuma, grasping a salmon fish, carved by the Ainu people of Northern Japan (Hokkaido Island). Carved Ittobori style (from one wooden piece) of cryptomeria or cedar wood. Mid-Century, dating to 1950s-1960s. Measures" 11" H x 17" L x 8" D.

The Ainu indiginous people, residing on Hokkaido Island, Japan for centuries, evolved a wood carving culture and later an export business since the early 20th century many Ainu carved bears, known as Higuma, to sell as souvenirs. Until then, these bear carvings had only existed as sacred objects, usually as headdresses and prayer sticks. History tells us that during the early 20th century, a former bear hunter by the name of Umetaro Matsui, (1901-1949) started carving bears in the town of Asahikawa after surviving an unfortunate run in with a bear.

Provenance: private Japanese Nagoya collection.

Schneible Fine Arts has been dealing in authentic Chinese,Japanese, and antiquities and fine art, garden ornaments, lanterns and water basins for twenty five years. Mr. Schneible personally travels to China, Japan and Europe each year to meet his network partners who assist him in finding best examples. He personally inspects each antique work of art to ensure its old age, authenticity, and quality condition. After accumulating a group, they are imported to Vermont and Maine in large containers. This method keeps shipping costs low and enables us to offer them to you at reasonable prices. We carefully pack and ship to clients all-over the USA and at reasonable shipping costs.

Lifetime guarantee of authenticity: All of our Asian works of art come with our "Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee."

We are members of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) specializing for ten years now in old and authentic Japanese stone garden ornaments.

Please come visit us June 15-Oct 10, to our expansive Maine annual summer garden and indoor gallery Exhibition "Treasures from Asia" 149 Main St, Northeast Harbor, Me 04662 (Mount Desert Island-just 15 minutes from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park). This, our seventh annual exhibition, features hundreds of antique, and many unique Asian and non-Asian garden ornaments including a fine selection of authentic Japanese lanterns and water basins (tsukubaI) as well as an indoor gallery chock full of select antique Asian Buddhas, Chinese antiquities, old jades, fine pottery, woodblock prints, Japanese screens, and much more. We hope to see you there!

Place of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Mid-20th Century
Materials and Techniques
Hand-Carved   Cedar
Wear consistent with age and use
11 in. H x 17 in. W x 10 in. D
28 cm H x 43 cm W x 25 cm D
Dealer Location
Shelburne, VT
Number of Items
Reference Number
Schneible Fine Arts LLC
837 Bay Road
Shelburne VT 05482
By Appointment Only
(802) 739-0077
1stdibs Dealer since 2015 Located in Shelburne, VT
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