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Antique Japanese Ivory Netsuke
Dragon Carp
Frolicking On Waves
Signed: Ryugetsu. Circa: early 1900s'

H 1.2 in.(3cm), W 1.5 in.(4cm), D 1 in.(2.5cm)

Condition: excellent!

The carp, which in the wild struggles upstream to spawn, is seen as a sign of perseverance and good fortune. It is said that if the carp (a symbol for the common man) can pass through the alchemical Dragon Gate, he will transform into the dragon himself and become a man of exceptional quality and leadership.

Sold to Private Collection

This poignant ivory netsuke communicates the play and transmogrification of forms between the carp and dragon. The dragonís body rises long and sinuous from a swirling, flaming sea. This dragon has the sageís beard and sharply curved needle teeth. His nose is slightly bulbous and his horns jut, like pieces of arrowed coral befitting the helmet of an otherworldly warrior. His eyes are focused and convey the supernatural power of the primary elements of which he is lord. The carp as his counterpoint rides the wave of the dragonís making towards the mouth of this mythical beast. The beautifully carved carp body is in upward thrust, nearly at the point of his destination. This netsuke is beautifully aged, warm and tactile that feels silken to the touch. It has one fine-haired crack but is overall in excellent condition. (SD)


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