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Japanese Okimono Figurines

Okimono ivory figurines are Japanese works of art that date back to the Edo period (1615-1868) but gained popularity in the Meiji period (1868-1912). During this period, American trading vessels began sailing to Japan from New England, where marine ivory scrimshaw carvings were well known.

That trading route came to greatly influence a demand for Japanese works of art such as netsuke – miniature sculptures made from Japanese carved ivory that represent the culture’s habits and mythology.

Due to this new demand, Japanese metalworkers began to create okimonos to appeal to the Western audience. There are two classifications of ivory okinomos, based on trends in carving. The first includes pieces that contain chisel marks by the artist, which is admired by some Japanese art enthusiasts; the second includes works that are smoother, without chisel marks, considered the result of good craftsmanship. <a href=”https://www.invaluable.com/japanese-netsuke/sc-HWY0N8NQVO/”>Japanese netsuke</a> is another form art which appealed to the western audiences and became a popular export.

 

Quick Facts

  • The word okimono means “object of display”
  • Ivory Okimonos were made as ornamental carvings for the tokonoma, a decorative alcove that is a vital part of a Japanese home and is used for the display of paintings, pottery, art, and flower arrangements
  • A rare iron okimono of a dragon with a moving head, leg joints, mouth and ears sold at Bonhams’ Fine Japanese Art sale in November 2010 for £120,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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Tokyo School Ivory Man and Woman Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Man and Woman Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$3003 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Ashinaga-Tenga Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Ashinaga-Tenga Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3502 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Whimsical Men on Bench Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Whimsical Men on Bench Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4002 Bids
Large Tokyo School Ivory Fisherman Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Large Tokyo School Ivory Fisherman Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$7502 Bids
ZODIAC BALL OKIMONO
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
ZODIAC BALL OKIMONO
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $250- $500
$1752 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3002 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Elderly Couple Cooking Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Elderly Couple Cooking Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5002 Bids
PAIRING OF GEISHA OKIMONOS
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
PAIRING OF GEISHA OKIMONOS
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $500
$2002 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Child with Dragonfly Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Child with Dragonfly Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2002 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Two Men Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Two Men Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3002 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Two Men Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Figural Group Two Men Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3002 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Boy and Teacher Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Boy and Teacher Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3002 Bids
SEVEN GODS OF FORTUNE OKIMONO SET
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
SEVEN GODS OF FORTUNE OKIMONO SET
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $300- $500
$1502 Bids
KINKO SENNIN CARVED IVORY OKIMONO
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
KINKO SENNIN CARVED IVORY OKIMONO
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $400- $700
$2502 Bids
Tokyo School Ivory Man and Woman Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Man and Woman Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4002 Bids
IVORY LAUGHING BUDDHA OKIMONO
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
IVORY LAUGHING BUDDHA OKIMONO
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Tokyo School Ivory Flying Tennyo Figure Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Flying Tennyo Figure Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2001 Bid
Tokyo School Ivory Child with Dog Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Child with Dog Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
Tokyo School Ivory Demon with Attendants Okimono
Oct 16, 11:00 AM EDT
Tokyo School Ivory Demon with Attendants Okimono
by Amero Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
IVORY OWL OKIMONO WITH INSET ABALONE EYES
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
IVORY OWL OKIMONO WITH INSET ABALONE EYES
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $500
$1001 Bid
FOUR MUSICIAN GEISHA OKIMONOS
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
FOUR MUSICIAN GEISHA OKIMONOS
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $250- $500
$1251 Bid
JAPON
Oct 14, 9:30 AM CEST
JAPON
by HVMC - Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo
Est: €300- €500
€3000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Okimono Figurines


Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers

Amero Auctions

Amero Auctions

Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers

Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers

Galerie Zacke

Galerie Zacke