Netsuke of Ox with Bokudo

Date: 19th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Wood and ivory

Dimensions: H. 13/16 in. (2 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.5 cm); D. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)

Classification: Netsuke

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1910

Accession Number: 10.211.780

Description

Carvers often select rare and expensive woods for their creations or juxtapose various materials in novel compositions. Embedding one material into another requires the utmost precision, particularly when joining materials of differing physical properties, such as wood and ivory.
In this example, a young boy playing a flute, carved of ivory, serenades a recumbent ox, made of wood. Fine lines incised on the surface of the ox delineate individual hairs on its hide. The red seal on the ox's underside reads "Tokoku."

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