Rare Vintage Japanese Daruma | Large Clay Bell with Popping Eyes | Signed Toshiro | 1940

The historical Boddhidarma, (Daruma in Japanese), was originally an Indian sage who lived sometime in the fifth or sixth century and is credited as the founding father of Zen Buddhism. One of the most popular talismans of good luck in modern Japan is the Daruma doll often portrayed as the stylized round tumble doll shape depicting Boddhidarma seated in mediation like the piece being offered.

The bell is entitled, “Iris Daruma”, from Hakone. It is a hand made clay bell in the shape of Daruma. The details carved into the clay are well executed, illustrating an iris motif on both sides, with a wood-like texturing of the overall surface.  His open mouth and fierce glaring eyes and determined expression add life to the piece. However, not only the fierce expression of Daruma is well executed, but importantly, the eyes of Daruma “pop out” when you tilt the piece forward adding the impression of power to it. There is a round ceramic ball inside that is fully functional, providing a bell sound when moved. Overall, the piece is in very good condition as consistent with age. Signature is on the front of the bell and incorporated into the front of Daruma’s robe. Objects of this nature are very reminiscent of the antique Japanese Kobe toys. Dimensions: 8-0”h x 6-0”dia.

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