Netsuke. Kyoto school, XIX century. Shishi with tama
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Netsuke and Related: Pre 1900: item # 447287
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|Height 3,8 cm. Signature: Masatomo. Powerful netsuke with the figure of Shishi, crouch to defend a large tama, the buddhist jewel; another tama is carved inside the mouth, free to move. The mithical beast - an animal between a lion and a dog - is represented here with the open mouth in order to frighten the demons, showing a long line of threatening sharp teeth. The surface has been carved in the traditional Kyoto school manner, alternating smooth areas to scratched zones to imitate the lion hair. The origin of the figure of Shishi is Chinese: like the "dogs of Pho", they are traditionally used as guardians at the gates in buddhist temples; for this reason we sometime find the description as "karashishi", litteraly "Chinese lion".|