BRONZE BUDDHAWOOD BUDDHASTONE BUDDHAJAPANESE NETSUKE
    
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Antique Japanese Stag Antler Netsuke
Cowherd on Ox
Symbol of Enlightenment
Signature: not translated. Circa: early 19th Century

H 1.25 in.(3cm), W 1.5 in.(4cm), D 2.25 in.(5.75cm)
Condition: tail restoration, minor imperfection!

A cowherd riding an ox is a celebrated motif seen in centuries of Japanese and Chinese arts. The image is a parable of spiritual evolution, which symbolizes attaining enlightenment through the realization of the fundamental unity with the ultimate reality.


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Cowherd Netsuke

This Edo Era netsuke is a classic rendition of the Zen Buddhist teaching. The ox is well-carved from stag antler material, modeled in affable planes of rounded edges, high hand polished to an unctuous mirror surface, with an ancient visage that is in direct contrast to the understated minute details of the cowherd, who looks upward with a blissful expression. As shown in the photos, the eyes of the ox is likely inlaid with umimatsu (sea pine), and a section of its tail was professionally restored. There is no other defect observed, and overall it is in fair to good condition.

  
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