A very fine and dense carving of a large monkey with six young monkeys portrayed in various attitudes. The large monkey is biting into a peach, while a young monkey in front of her is trying to reach the fruit. The other monkeys are climbing on top of the large one, clambering and pushing and pulling on each other. Another smaller monkey on top has managed to find another peach and is heartily biting into it. The hairwork is masterfully incised and all the eyes are minutely inlaid with pale translucent horn. The style of the carving, as well as the finish and the unstained ivory, is reminiscent of Kaigyokusai Masatsugu. The signature is found on the underside in a rectangular reserve, HOICHI 芳一 saku 作. The carver probably comes from the school of Hojitsu in Tokyo. Kaigyokusai Masatsugu was also known to have opened a school in Tokyo during the Meiji period.
HEIGHT 5.1 cm
Provenance: European collection.
Condition: Very good condition, minor discoloration to the ivory in limited areas and some imperfections such as plugged nerve channels.