A stag antler kiseruzutsu (pipe case) depicting an Oni climbing up the side of a pair of pliers, holding a mallet in one hand. Although signed Kokusai, Paul Moss writes in his three-volume tour de force on the master, Kokusai the Genius: And Stag-Antler Carving in Japan, that he hasn't to date seen one that he believes is by Kokusai. Regardless of maker, this is a wonderfully fun pipe case that has utilised the natural properties of the material to great effect. The almost dark orange bumpy rind of the antler running up the side make this piece very pleasing in the hand.
Second half of the 19th century
Signed – Koku
Length – 21cm
Wdith – 3.4cm
Depth – 2.3cm
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