Masatsugu, ‘Carved Ivory Okimono Boar’, 19th Century, Signed, Japan

An Okimono may be a small Japanese carving, similar to, but larger than netsuke. Unlike netsuke which had a specific purpose, okimono were purely decorative and were displayed in the tokonoma, a small recessed display area in the house. An okimono can be made out of wood, ivory, ceramic or metal. They were normally not larger than a few centimetres and depicted all sorts of animals, mythological beasts, humans, gods, fruit, vegetables and objects, sometimes combined with each other, in all sorts of positions.

Masatsugu was the name of one of the most famous artist carvers in Osaka, Japan.

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