Early nineteenth century ivory Okimono. Momotaro by Unho.




Early nineteenth century ivory Okimono showing Momotaro by Unho.

This exceptionally fine okimono (decorative carving) was produced in Japan in the early part of the nineteenth century. It shows Momotaro, also known as the little peach boy. There once lived an elderly couple, a woodcutter and his wife. One day, while her husband was out cutting wood, his wife was down by the river when she saw a beautiful peach floating in the water. Happy to have found such a treat, she took it home so that she and her husband could share it after supper. When they cut open the fruit however they found a tiny child. As they had no children of their own, they were delighted and brought him up as their own.After a time Momotaro had grown and together with his friends the monkey and the dog, he travelled to Onigeshima, the land of demons where he defeated the demon king and his followers and returned home to the old couple laden with treasure.

   This stunning quality carving is signed by the Artist Unho. The base is carved as the section of a peach stone. The okimono stands 12.5 cm high, is 6.5 cm at its widest point and is 6 cm at its deepest. (Measurements approximate. It bears a collection or Museum number beneath the robes. It is in excellent condition, showing light wear appropriate to its age and substance. It has no damage and no restoration.