A lively and dense composition depicting seven rats amongst many shells, shown in various attitudes. One rat is crawling out of a large horagai (conch) in the center of the composition while two more rats are fighting on top of a disintegrated half of another shell. The other four rats are climbing on top of the other shells – each one of a different type. The ivory is attractively stained and polished, and the eyes of each little rat is inlaid with black horn. The underside with small himotoshi and signature MINZAN 民山. Minzan must have been a student of the famous Masamitsu, however the rats of Minzan are larg-er, more naturalistic and imbued with more life.
LENGTH 4.7 cm
Provenance: British private collection.
Condition: Other than some minor losses to the inlaid eyes excellent condition.