Posted 12 months ago
This carved and stained ivory mid-19th century netsuke is in the form of Môsô digging up a bamboo shoot under snow-laden bamboos. Moso, also known as Kobu, refers to the Chinese paragon of filial virtue, Meng Tsung, who lived in the 3rd century A.D. Dimensions: 2”(H)x1.5”(W)x0.75”(D).
This netsuke illustrates one of the 24 examples of Chinese filial piety. According to legend, in the middle of winter when there was a thick covering of snow, Moso’s mother had a yearning for bamboo shoots. Moso dutifully set off to search for the unseasonal delicacy. Against all odds he found some and on the netsuke, is shown cutting the bamboo shoots. The depiction of such complex subjects was popular during the 19th century when this netsuke was carved. Through careful planning, the artist has skilfully managed to depict all the elements, and has yet managed to retain the compactness essential of netsuke.