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Neil Holton Japanese Art


A Large 19th Century marine tooth study of an elephant.

Seated, the limbs all tucked beneath the bulk of the beast conforming to functionality. The neck and head extends and stretches and it appears the animal is about to fully unfurl his large trunk. Ears are tight to the body to also conform functionally.

The design is paramount, clean lines denote the skin folds in a minimal fashion and other details are economic. The surface of the ivory bears a fine glassy polish, creamy in colour, remnants of stain on the underside.

Signed: Masakazu in an oval reserve. Osaka. Early 19th Century.

One can clearly see the influence of Gechu, the very early Osaka master still long after he is deceased his ‘way’ artists still admired and patrons enjoyed wearing.