The lucky god Ebisu, one of the Shichifukujin (Seven Lucky Gods), is depicted here holding down a large tai (sea bream) with both his hands, with a very content expression. He has a full beard, well-expressed large earlobes and is wearing a cap with a bowtie on top of it. The tai seems to be enjoying himself too, best visible on the underside, as his expression is quite humorous with a wide smile. The scales and fins are carved very precisely, as are the garments of Ebisu, which are flowing and incised with leaves and vines. Note also the very sensitively carved fingers and toes. The ivory is covered in a very attractive stain, the small himotoshi are found on the reverse and the signature RYOMIN, for Ono Ryomin, is located on his left buttock. Ebisu is patron of the fishermen and is also called the ‘laughing god’.
HEIGHT 3.7 CM
Condition: Only one very minor chip to the edge of the bowtie on the cap, otherwise very good condition
Provenance: The 40-Year Collection of a London Gentleman