unsigned ivory netsuke Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only Contact Katherine Martin at Scholten Japanese Art Join our mailing list...
early 19th century
Inari fox and tama
height 2 1/2 in., 6.5 cm
the rice deity dances on its hind legs holding a tama (sacred jewel) up on its right shoulder. its rounded stomach bulges out over the sturdy legs and its bushy tail reaches up to its shoulder, the smooth ivory bears good patina
It is relatively unusual to find an example of a fox carrying a tama (sacred jewel); its power as a deity is considerable but it appears to have borrowed the sacred attribute from the celestial dragon. The dancing fox is supposed to have glanced at its reflection in the water, where it appears as a beautiful young girl. In this depiction the rice deity Inari fox has merged its identity with that of the fox trickster. early 19th century
Expressions of Style: Netsuke as Art, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, August 2001, no. 109
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site last updated
October 28, 2021
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
Scholten Japanese Art
Join our mailing list...