Vintage Japanese “Rare” White Maneki Neko Lucky Cat Bank

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Dimensions: 14-0”h x 8-1/2”w x 8-0”d

This expressive bank is hard to find and is not the typical small Maneki-Neko that you see all over the internet. Its base is white with orange calico patches on an oversized Maneki-Neko bank made of ceramic, with a slot in its back to receive coins and a hole in the bottom for their removal, (Japanese coins can be heard which remain in the bank). It is hand formed and painted in white, vermillion, and green enamel with a decorative cherry blossom pattern, and festive flecks of glitter. It has a tied bow collar, bib, and Japanese markings wishing good fortune on its attached collar pendant. It must be representing a female cat because of the expressive feminine eyes and retains its original whiskers and mesmerizing left paw raised, (the left paw raised is meant to attract customers and friends to the business or abode while the right paw invites good fortune and prosperity). The right lowered paw is holding two old-fashioned coins which further confirms its age. A small indication of its “bob” tail flipping up onto his back. The piece was acquired in Hakone on the main island of Honshu in 1983.

Condition: Very Good meaning that the piece retains its original craft/workmanship with some soiling and yellowing on the white ceramic around the body from long usage which suggests a degree of wear that corresponds to its vintage, it is being sold “as is”, and has covered opening and pad on the bottom to remove coins.

Additional Information: Japanese legend holds that long ago an emperor was traveling on horseback when he spotted a small cat waving at him.  After the emperor dismounted from his horse to get a closer look the horse was struck by lightning and killed.  Subsequently, the emperor pronounced that cats should be respected as sacred animals, and thus was born the legend of the beckoning Maneki Neko.  This is just one of several popular tales regarding the origin of Japan’s most famous cat. The legendary kitty has been transformed from an emperor saving Samaritan to a bringer of money and good fortune to all Japanese, (just like the emperor’s savior).