Late nineteenth century ivory netsuke showing Biwa Hoshi




A late nineteenth century ivory netsuke showing Biwa Hoshi.

This fine and interesting ivory netsuke was carved in the latter part of the nineteenth century and is of the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912). It shows Biwa Hoshi, a blind Buddhist Lay Priest and performer being led through the night by a sighted attendant who needs a light to see, symbolising the notion that the darkness holds no fears for a blind man. The netsuke is of stained ivory, staining often used at this period to heighten the details of the carving. It is signed to the reverse. Unusually for a netsuke of this period, there are signs of wear consistent with it being used, most netsuke at this time being produced as miniature works of Art.

   This interesting stained ivory netsuke stands 5.2 cm high, is 3.7 cm at its widest point and 1.8 cm at its deepest. (Measurements approximate). It is in fine original condition and has a lovely mellow colour. It shows light wear appropriate to its age and substance. It has no damage and no restoration.