Ivory carving of Bishamon, God of Treasure, Wealth & Warriors, Meji period 19th/20th century


A delightful Japanese carving of Bishamon, holding a trident and a small model of a tower, with beautiful incised detailing to his robes, face and trident.
Signed on base.
Meji period,
19th/early 20th century

height: 11cm, Width: 3.8cm
excellent condition

from an old Australian Collection.

Bishamon, also known as Bishamonten, or Tobatsu Bishamon, was the ‘King of the North’ in Buddhist tradition, and worshipped in Japan from an early date. He becomes one of the ‘Seven Lucky Gods’ of Japan, one which is a Japanese creation, three each borrowed from Hindu-Buddhist traditions, the others Chinese-Buddhist. Bishamonten is Hindu in origin. He is a mighty warrior, hence the trident – and bears a treasurehouse in his left hand, containing one of Buddha’s gifts.
As one of the seven lucky gods, he travels in the treasure ship on New Years Eve to dispense happiness amongst mortals….




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