Gyokuminsai - 5636

Titolo: 
Shishi with Puppy
Numero di Inventario: 
5636
Tipologia: 
netsuke
Collezione: 

East

Parole chiave soggetto: 
Shishi with Puppy
Autore, ambito, luogo di produzione: 
Not signed, Japan
Pubblicazione: 
Si
Periodo: 
1850
Datazione specifica: 
late 19th century
Materia e Tecnica: 
ivory
Opere correlate: 
Data di Ingresso: 
2005
Acquisizione: 
Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Tipo di acquisizione: 
bequest

This ivory okimono depicts a shishi with its puppy; the shishi holds in its jaws the stem of an immortality mushroom while the cub plays with a sphere. The composition is set on an oval platform, at its base the signature Gyokuminsai (玉珉齋) is engraved in a rectangular reserve. We do not have information on Gyokuminsai. It maybe a variation of the signature Gyokumin, artist born in Tokyo in 1859.

The mushroom of immortality (reishi, 霊芝) is a recurring theme in Japanese art, imported from China where it was known with the name lingzhi. The shape of this symbol of longevity derives from a mushroom born in nature, the mannentake (万年茸, literally the "mushroom of ten thousand years"), that resembles a cloud and it is often associated to the feminine principle in (in Chinese yin).

More information on the shishi can be found in the description of another piece from the Lanfranchi collection that depicts two of these mythological animals.
An example of a particular use of the shishi is visible in a seal type netsuke.

G.R.

AC/DC: 
DC