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Antique Japanese Ivory Netsuke
Hotei Walking
One One Foot

Signature: Bikazu, Circa: early 20th Century
h. 1.5 in.(4.5cm), w. 1 in.(2.5cm), d. 1.25 in.(3cm)
Condition: excellent!

Hotei is the benevolent god of happiness, laughter wisdom and contentment. His big belly playfully symbolizes fulfillment, luck and generosity. On his back he carries a huge linen bag that contains precious gifts of good fortune. In his right-hand he holds the uchiwa, a flat fan that signifies authority and wish granting.

This early 20th century netsuke rendered in ivory, shows a humane and loveable rendition of this beloved saint. His full plump face has subtle stubble, his exposed chest has a small patch of hair, and his brow is slightly furrowed. The material of his kimono is defined by a subtle crosshatch. His ears are plump and elongated as befits one who is considered a bodhisattva. The signature of the unrecorded artist is artfully rendered in a red coral raised square reserve that is inlaid into Hotei's sack of abundant goodies. (SD)


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