The depiction of the three wise monkeys, also known as sanbiki saru, is shown here as one monkey holding its mouth and eyes with its hands and holding its ears with its feet. The monkey embodies the proverbial principle of ‘speak no evil’, ‘hear no evil’ and ‘see no evil’. The monkey’s fur is precisely incised, and the toes and fingers are crafted very sensitively. It is wearing human clothes, engraved with fine patterns, the backside with five interlocking rings, two of them forming the himotoshi. Signature also on the reverse reading KYOKUSAI, the Sai is abbreviated.
HEIGHT 3.8 CM
Condition: Excellent condition
Provenance: Collection of Sam Felton with CITES permit no. 18US59513C/9. Purchased from Sotheby’s London in June 1975