Edo era carved bamboo skull


1 in stock

SKU: ba1-1 Category: Tags: , ,


This exceptional sculpture of a skull (without the jaw) is carved with lifelike detail, yet the form (and especially the teeth) are very abstract. You could say it looks more like the idea of a skull, if that makes sense? The smooth texture and glowing, amber color are the result of bamboo that has been aged for centuries. It almost looks like ivory, yet when you look closely above the teeth and at the underside, some of the natural bamboo form and grain can be seen. The cells that transfer water up the bamboo look similar to the small holes seen in bone, so it is a perfect match of material and subject. Skulls were a popular motif in Japanese history, conveying the impermanence of life. This wonderful, tactile and rare piece comes with a box.

CONDITION: Good. There is an old, stable crack that runs vertically along the side and does not detract from the beauty of the piece.

SIZE: 4″ wide, 3.25″ high (10.16 cm wide, 8.25 cm high)

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