An Unusual Japanese Mingei Wooden Figure of a Priest. Edo Period 18th. Century.
Ht. 14 ins. (35.5 cms) This appealing piece shows a priest with his head and hands raised in supplication, probably a portrait of an actual priest. It has the broad expressive carving of the mingei (folk craft) artist who has left the piece unpainted or decorated but showing the natural grain of the softwood.
As can be clearly seen in the photos, the piece has seen some vicissitudes in its life, the hands and part of the left arm are missing and the tip of the nose is a repair. There are various minor deficiencies (e.g. the top of an ear and the lower part of the right hand sleeve) and bruises and the wood has some age splits which are not displeasing or unusual in a piece of this age and type. It has obviously been on a stand at some time which is no longer present.