Ono Ryomin - 5503
Okimono in which two blind men fight furiously, clutching respectively at each other by a nostril and an ear. The first seeks to strike a blow with a stick to his contender, who defends himself by holding his opponent’s forearm. Three blind men are trying to intervene between the two quarrelers, one holds the stick that is about to hit, another surrounds the waist of the other rival, while the third, kneeling between the two, is touching his head probably after having received a blow. A dog is lying down with all four paws in the air. The signature Ono Ryomin (小埜 陵 民) with a kakihan typical of this artist, is carved on the robe of the blind man kneeling.
Ryomin, whose signature often included his family name Ono (小野 or 小埜 , small field), as in this okimono, was active in Edo/Tokyo in the second half of the nineteenth century. Around 1880 he was head of a large workshop in Mukojima, on the left bank of the Sumida River, which produced ivory netsuke and okimono mainly for export. Many of his students added the characters "Ono"(小埜) and "ryo" (陵) to their art names, as shown by various pieces in the Lanfranchi collection.
Among the compositions with signature Ono Ryomin collected by Lanfranchi there is a netsuke having as subject the capture of a thief and another one, signed simply Ryomin, in which is represented the fox dance.