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Ivory netsuke of a kirin
Ikkosai Toun


Recumbent, with its head turned back and looking upwards, its mouth agape. The eyes are inlaid. The ivory has taken on a pleasing polish with age.

Signed: Ikkosai
Circa 1820
Height: 3.9cm

The netsuke belongs to a rare group of kirin, previously believed to number four, signed by or attributed to Toun. For a summary and illustrations of them, see Gabor Wilhelm, The Off-Broadway Collector, in INSJ, vol. 23, no.3 (2003), pp. 23-24. One of these made an impressive £6,800 as long ago as June 1976.