Antique Okame and Oni Ivory Netsuke

This Okame and Oni (Devil) mask is a beautifully-carved, fully detailed two sided netsuke from one piece of Ivory. This wonderful antique netsuke represents “Okame” the Goddess of Mirth and Sensuality, whose real name is Amen no Uzume no Mikoto. She is always depicted smiling, having two very puffy cheeks and a tiny mouth. On the opposite side of the netsuke is Oni, a devil-like demon with a fierce look on his face, and two horns on his forehead. The carving of the Oni’s teeth is exceptional and the hair on both figures finely detailed. In Japan, symbolically, the skull was considered a good luck charm for gamblers and ruffians, those who played on the edges of fortune and society. Both appear in Noh dramas and other Japanese arts, and the combination of both figures in netsuke form is difficult to find, seeing that they are a popular combination in Japanese folklore (good and evil).  The piece is signed but unidentified, Circa 1920’s. Dimensions: 1 1/8” w 1 ¼”d x 1 ½’h (3cm x 3.2cm x 3.8cm)

NOTE: Thanks to preservation efforts, animals and endangered materials (e.g. ivory and rare woods) are conservatively used today, if not banned altogether. However, we recognize that these materials have been important since ancient times for making a wide range of functional and decorative items. We only feature antique ivory and rare tree species because, while we support conservation, we truly feel that the experience and appreciation of historic artifacts should also be preserved. Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to purchase if they intend to import this piece into another country.

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