BRONZE BUDDHAWOOD BUDDHASTONE BUDDHAJAPANESE NETSUKE
    
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Antique Japanese Ivory Netsuke
Skeleton
Holding Sutra Plaque

Signature: Gyokuzan, Circa: 19th Century

H 1.8 in.(4.5cm), W 1.25 in.(3cm), D 1 in.(2.5cm)

Condition: excellent!

What are we when we are stripped of life and flesh? What sustains and is retained at the moment of death and through the cycles. This 19th century ivory netsuke rides on the edge of potency, poignancy, humor and revelation. Essential to the Buddhist practice is the transient nature of all things: form is empty and always changing. In Japan this is approached head on in the funerary rites. Relatives of the deceased are expected to pick up the bone shards with chopsticks and ceremonially place them into a funerary urn. This particular netsuke is in truth a harbinger of great good fortune. The finely detailed ivory a squatting skeleton holds a burial marker that says: “Glorious Magical Sutra”. Glorious magical sutra indeed: “No eyes, no ears, no nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sound, smell, or taste. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness.” Such are the evocations of the Heart Sutra or the Prajnaparamita which brings the practitioner into that which sustains transience. Signed by Gyokuzan, this netsuke is an exceptional example of the carver’s naturally wry artistry that evokes complex subjects with a candid humor that touches many levels of the psyche. (SD)

Skeleton w. Sutra Netsuke
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Skeleton Sutra Netsuke Sig Gyokuzan
  
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