OKIMONO OF A SKULL WITH SNAKE, HAWK AND MONKEYS Signed ‘Mingyoku’

OKIMONO OF A SKULL WITH SNAKE, HAWK AND MONKEYS Signed ‘Mingyoku’

1868 to 1912 Japan Meiji Era

Offered by Anthony Outred Ltd

£3,800 gbp
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A carved stag antler okimono of a scene with a skull with entwined snake, surmounted by a hawk and flanked by a pair of monkeys.

In Japanese culture the skull is understood as a memento mori, or symbol of the brevity of life. However, unlike in Europe, this idea is coloured by Buddhist tradition. Buddhism describes existence as a constant cycle of life and death, in which the body is lost but the soul preserved. In this way, skulls and bodily decay are as much a symbol of the continuity of life as a symbol of the finality of death. Here, the snakes also allude to this idea of continuation and renewal, as the snake grows and sheds new skins throughout its life. Skulls and skeletons also feature prominently in Japanese pop culture, and appear in prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige, as well as in many traditional ghost stories.

Measurements: 2 1⁄4” (5.5 cm) High
Stock Code
14982B
Anthony Outred Ltd

Anthony Outred Ltd
74 Pimlico Road
London
SW1W 8LS
England

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