Los Angeles

“Near East to the Far East”

Harry A. Franklin Gallery

Although the Far East is more broadly represented than is the Near East, there is considerable variety in the collection of fine art objects that Mr. Franklin has assembled. Of primary interest is a Chinese bronze Ku from the Shang Dynasty dated in the 13th century B.C. The trumpet shaped beaker has a particularly nice t’ao t’ieh mask and is in excellent enough condition that the refinement of detailed ornamentation can be studied easily. Dating from 1000 to 600 B.C. are a number of Luristan pieces of which a stirrup and a mace are the most interesting. A third item of antiquity is a Mosul marble from Nineveh on which the cuneiform writing is clearly distinguishable. Although of greater historical than esthetic interest, the Assyrian piece, dated from the 8th century B.C., supports the Near Eastern part of the collection to which a selection of Syro-Roman glass adds its touch of opalescent color. Returning to the Far East and to China, two T’ang Dynasty pieces are noteworthy; one a Horse and the other a large Official Figure. There is also a remarkable double-walled celadon bowl from the period of the Ming Dynasty. From Pakistan there is a very simple Gandharan Bodhisattva. The finest piece of this nature is, however, a Cambodian head, again, a Bodhisattva. Still other objects come from India and Siam. Perhaps the most unique item is a Tibetan skull cap from the 18th century that is embellished with copper and semi-precious stones. A number of Japanese pieces are included. An Ashikaga from the late 14th century and a 16th century Bosatsu are both of wood. Remnants of gesso and polychrome are evident on the earlier piece. Two very fine 17th-century Japanese screens climax the collection.

Constance Perkins