Meiji Bronze Group
A bronze polychromed sculptural group of two red-crowned cranes, one with head lifted, the other with head down, on rockwork base, the base enveloped by stylized, swirling wave motifs, with a minogame
, a Japanese mythological long-tailed turtle, emerging from the surf, Japanese, Meiji period, 1868-1912. 22.5 ins. high, 19 ins. wide.
The red-crowned crane (grus japonensis), known as the tanchozuru in Japan, is one of the rarest cranes in the world. It is revered in both Japan and China as a symbol of longevity, fidelity, and strength.
Japanese legend contends that the minogame is so old that it has a train of seaweed growing on its back (forming a “tail”). It is a symbol of long life and good luck.
Barbara says, "Indoors or out this group is absolutely a foremost example of Japanese bronze workmanship; the finesse of the cranes, the softly applied colors, the lyrical interpretation of the aquatic subjects and, above all, the mystique of the animal symbolism".