An early work by the artist who started out in the Asakusa school, founded by Ozaki Kokusai, and is probably best known for his later mixed-material carvings which are unparalleled in their quality and style. However, he also made very good ryusa manju when he was still active in the Asakusa school, though they are rarely found at auction. This ryusa manju, openworked on the sides depicting finely carved magnolia blossoms, shows Ona no Tofu on the separately carved inset medallion. He is depicted underneath a tree wearing courtly robes, an eboshi and holding a fan. The reverse with further blossoming magnolia amongst clouds carved in relief above an
attractively stippled surface. Typical irregular himotoshi and the signature TOKOKU on an inlaid silver tablet. The material almost looks like ivory, however the sides reveal characteristic inclusions typical for marine ivory.
DIAMETER 4 CM, WIDTH 1.5 CM
Condition: Good condition, the separately carved central medallion has come a little bit loose at the top, and very minor cracks to the openworked section on the side
Provenance: European private collection