An okimono of a lacquered wood monkey holding a peach

Late Edo period, mid-19th century, Japan

H18.5 x W12 x D14 cm. H7.28 x W4.72 x D5.51 inches

Seated upright with one leg bent vertically and the other bent horizontally, and the feet clasped together, the monkey stares with wide open eyes and a slightly perplexed expression his head held up and looking slightly to his left. His right arm is down and the hand loosely placed onto the knee, the left hand is held up in front of the chest holding a peach with attached stork and two leaves which is symbolic of longevity. He wears a sleeveless cloak attached at the front with a bowed knot, the garment fabulously decorated with single zodiac animals within roundels against an ever changing background of floral and geometric diapers and sprays of flowers amongst grass, the outer boarder decorated with a repeating stylised flower in stippled gold on a red ground.

The monkey is lacquered with a red brown ground onto which fine hair work has been applied in gold. The peach and the background to each roundel are sprinkled with an ultrafine nashiji ground on brown, the zodiac animals being executed in gold lacquer with darker shading in some of the creatures.

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