bronzes (tempai) as accents

Four of John Trott’s latest bronze acquisitions — loads more will be seen at the MBA Event

One of John Trott’s latest bronzes to add to his extensive range on a Dansai pot

I always thought it was : “three blind mice”, but no, John Trott has given us four!!!

There will be very many more examples in the Exhibition on 27th May 2012


When displaying bonsai, another complimentary item that can be used is a bronze figure .

Bronze figures are available in many forms and sizes. So if you display shohin sized bonsai or very large bonsai, you can normally find the size figure to suit the tree.

Bronzes can be manufactured in the traditional finish with a bronze metal appearance or coloured by several processes to give a real life appearance.

It is best to find a figure to accompany the tree that has some form of relationship.

Remember that the four seasons can also dictate the choice. For example, a pair of boxing hares would go well with a tree in the spring.

A tree of the mountain environment could be accompanied by an eagle. If the tree is found near water then a kingfisher would be a good choice.

A forest planting could have a fox running towards the group.

Also acceptable are the use of bronze or painted resin figures. The quality of these figures can be unbelievably good.  These are very good if you are worried about security at a show, as some figures are so small and can ‘disappear’ easily in crowds.

The best way to display the figure would be on, for example, a small wooden jiita, a ceramic plate, a tatami mat, etc.

Remember to give enough room on the display to position the bronze adjacent to the bonsai stand with a gap between both so as to appreciate the bronze as well as the bonsai.


Another option when displaying bonsai, can be the use of alternative figurines or objects. An item which could be associated with the tree on display such as, a pair of acorns, a pair of ‘conkers’ from the horse chestnut tree.

In the autumn season, the use of a few fallen leaves or berries/fruit can accompany the display.

A bonsai as a rock planting could have a pile of tiny rocks signifying a small landslide.

In a controversial display, a large crab apple accompanied with a couple of tiny jars of crab apple jelly!!! — might raise a smile

‘Keep an open mind; the possibilities are endless so the chance to push the boundaries beyond belief lay in your own imagination’.

For a wide selection of miniature bronze figurines click here

© John Trott


4 responses

27 10 2011
Bob Bailey

Love the field mouse,great site Mark /Ritta

27 10 2011

Many thanks Bob… glad you like our site. Cheers, Dan

29 12 2011
Paul Bowerbank

Lovely bronzes, a question from a friend, which I couldn’t answer. When were bronzes first used instead of accent plants etc??? Does it date back to early days of Japan??

30 12 2011

Sorry Paul,
I’m not sufficiently versed in the use of bronzes as accents to give you an informed answer.
cheers, Dan

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