Early 19th Century Japanese Carved Antler Monkey Shishimai Lion Dance Netsuke 舞狮猿
Antique Japanese Stag Antler Netsuke
Monkey Lion Dance 舞狮猿
New Year Shishimai
Sig: Family Crest. Circa: early 19th Century
H. 2.75 in. (7cm), W. 0.75 in. (2cm), D. 0.75 in. (2cm)
An expressive monkey dancing with a lion head in this antique antler netsuke, and deeply engraved with sumi, in brown, yellow, and gold cream colored with natural age patina. The monkey, although it is one of the twelve zodiacal animals, is generally esteemed as an intelligent creature, and one that must be indulged, with all its trickery and mischief, lest it fails to bring forth the good fortune and cause bad luck. Here the monkey is crouching, dancing beneath a bamboo and paper mache lion head, announcing the Zodiac New Year of the Monkey in a Shishimai. The work is nicely variegated in color, tactile with glossy highlights from handling.