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Antique Japanese Carved Okimono
Three Wise Kings
Christianity In Edo Japan
Orgin: Japanese. Circa: 19th century
H 8.5 in.(21.5cm.), W 1.75 in.(4.5cm.), D 1.5 in.(4cm.)
measurement not including1"H wood base

Condition: minor crack lines

The style of these figures is clearly pre-Meiji, their age confirmed by the surface appearance and seasoned patina of the material (which, being marine ivory, ages more slowly than elephant ivory) establishing their date as 19th Century late Edo period. A sympathetic depiction of Christianity is nevertheless quite rare even in the late Edo period, the country being still largely untouched by Western culture and historically hostile to Christianity.

The depiction of the Three Kings is strictly Japanese in conception, the kings wearing imperial robes and headgear, the carving hieratic and adapted to the shape of the tusk tips. Two of the kings carry baskets of peonies; one offers a basket of ling chi, the fungus of immortality. All are freely engraved with embroideries of foliate, water, and feather motifs with details inked in sepia and black, the faces imbued with dignity and the wisdom of age.

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Three Christian Kings Okimono
  
  
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Three Kings OkimonoThree Kings OkimonoThree Kings Okimono
 
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