An ivory netsuke of a Karyōbinga


Signed: Okatomo

Kyoto, late 18th century
Ivory netsuke. Eyes inlaid in dark horn
Lenght: 5.1 cm


Arlette Katchen collection
H. Seymour Trower collection

H. Joly, Catalogue of the H. Seymour Trower Collection of Japanese Art, pl.IV, no.704.
G. Lazarnick (ed.), MCI: The Meinertzhagen Card Index on Netsuke in the Archives of the British Museum, York (Alan R. Liss Inc.: 1986), p.619.
A. Katchen, Netsuke 7, vol.1, Paris (K. R. Publishers, 2010), vol.1, p.103, no. K785.


Shown flying, its wings and legs drawn in for compactness, its head turned slightly to the right and a lotus flower held with both hands to her chest.

The half-bird, half-person heavenly spirit Karyōbinga is the Kalavinka of Indian mythology, a servant to the Buddhist gods; similar to western angels, it is not itself object of worship. It is here represented singing, as it is said to have a beautiful voice, while carrying a lotus flower whose petals are scatter.

A very similar netsuke by Okatomo is in the Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection at the L.A. County Museum of Art.


Netsuke for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: net-1337


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