BRONZE BUDDHAWOOD BUDDHASTONE BUDDHAJAPANESE NETSUKE
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Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Oni Priest
Calling for Alms

Unsigned, Circa: Showa, early 1900s'
h. 2.25 in.(5.7cm), w. 1.5 in.(4cm), d. 1 in.(2.5cm)
Condition: Excellent

A cream white netsuke, carved from fine Asian elephant tusk with dense close grain and an exquisite, almost pearly polished surface that is evenly colored, a bit darker on the back. A carving of excellent artistry with well detailed elements, engraved lines for beard and eyebrows, robes with lambent folds and nicely described closed parasol, book and braided rope.

This oni could almost be taken for a priest, with his devout accoutrements and handsome robe ornamented with perfect starbursts and silken edges. He carries a gong to announce himself to the faithful as he travels about in his clogs, three-clawed toes poking out, calling for alms with an _expression of pious urgency on his face, playing the righteous mendicant with unconcealed horns on his head! The preposterous masquerade is something an oni would attempt, as legend is replete with stories that characterize oni as wickedly troublesome if not thoroughly evil, and capable of a variety of misadventures in which they often end up getting the raw end of the stick. --RW

Oni Priest Netsuke
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