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Japanese Carved Ivory Taoist Immortal, Meiji

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Ivory: Pre 1920: item # 1173249

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The Art and Orchid Gallery
7896 SE Peach Way
Jupiter, Florida

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Japanese Carved Ivory Taoist Immortal, Meiji
The Art and Orchid Gallery's antique ivory carving is the figure of the Taoist immortal, 'Ramsaikwa' (known as Lan Ts'an-ho in Chinese), wearing her mugwort leaves skirt and carrying her characteristic attribute of a basket of flowers.[200A, 191B, 33C] She represents a Taoist immortal, possibly the least well-documented but best known for her basket of flowers, a Taoist attribute.[86D, 73E] One story claims Ramsaikwa to have been a weird woman dressed in tattered clothing and leaves who begged for her livelihood in streets and carried a basket of flowers.[86D] To Taoists, she is the patron saint of gardeners and florists.[92F, 159G] This figure probably started its use as a netsuke being carved and pierced for a himo in the 19th C. of the Meiji Period. We base this on its age cracks, stain loss from incised areas, repairs, and filled hole where the himo (silk cord) passed.[120H] With the location of the holes being just behind the head and under the kimono, its likely to have hung like a pendant, possibly as an amulet for a gardener. Later, the holes were filled and Ramsaikwa was attached to a surface and probably displayed as an okimono (alcove display ornament).[120I] Ramsaikwa is finely carved with kimono sleeves flying and incised with vine scroll except where worn off. There is a small amount of ink stain left on her kimono back emblem and some left on her hair. The basket, vines, hands and face have fine carved features. The figure is made of ivory. Characteristic cross-hatching is there and it passed the hot needle test, acetone insolubility and hardness test.[11J] References available upon request. Size: ~ 2 7/8" H x 1" x 1 1/8"; Weight: ~ 37 grams;

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