Gyokuichi - 5422

Gyokuichi, Japan

Oni with a mask
late 19th century
ivory  
2,6x4,5x3,6 cm
signature
玉一 (Gyokuichi)
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5422



In this composition an oni is carving (or maybe is trying to destroy) with a chisel part of a mask probably representing Hannya (般若), character of the Noh theatre that represents a jealous female demon. Both the mask and the demon are on a low bench; the himotoshi holes are in the interior part of the mask. The intricacy of this piece, even if the himotoshi are present, leads to classify it in the category of the okimono-netsuke, compositions mainly produced in the Meiji (1868 - 1972) period to comply with the tastes of the western market.

The signature Gyokuichi is placed inside the mask, near the eye's holes. Because of the carving style and the type of writing this carver cannot be the same Gyokuichi author of the composition that represents the vengeance of the Soga brothers, which is also part of the Lanfranchi collection. 

G.R.

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