A rare ivory netsuke of the lucky deity Jurojin sheltering Benten under a canopy, who is seated on Jurojin’s stag and playing her Biwa. Benten is the only goddess in the group of the Shichifukujin and is a symbol for love, poetry and music and is probably derived from the Hindu goddess Sarasvati. Benten is quite rarely depicted in netsuke art, and often with Bishamonten, who is even rarer to find. The figural group is carved on a base with an archaistic diaper band incised on the side and a small central himotoshi on the underside, with the signature JORYU located in a rounded reserve.
HEIGHT 3.7 CM
Condition: Good condition, the ivory slightly worn with a good patina and some red paint residue on the underside
Provenance: British private collection