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According to the Japanese mythology, the Seven Lucky Gods or Seven Gods of Fortune as they are commonly referred to are a popular theme of Netsuke and ivory sculptures. Intertwined in the folklores of Japan, the Seven Lucky Gods are:
With changing cultural milieu, the transition of Chinese legends and folklores were transmitted to Japan. This included the Seven Lucky Gods except Ebisu. But in Japanese folklores and mythology, a variety of deities represent a multitude of different things in different regions. The usual ivory representation of the Seven Gods is on the ‘Treasure ship’ or Takarabune.
As the legend goes, they are considered to visit on New Year and present gifts to good citizens, while the children get token money envelops stamped with Takarabune.
There are various ivories used to carve the Seven Lucky Gods in a range of sizes and much in demand all over the world. Mammoth ivory is the most delicate and exquisite medium used to carve the Seven Gods of Fortune. This ivory procured from the extinct Woolly Mammoth that existed 10,000 years ago are now being excavated from the permafrost of Siberia and Arctic to be utilized in making precious ivory sculptures. Large pieces of ivory are sliced into thin sheets that are perfect for hand painting by eminent artists.
There are also other materials that are used to carve the figurines of Seven Lucky Gods especially whale tooth. There are many scrimshaws that are available with many sketching of the lucky gods.
Although when Mammoth ivory is excavated, getting a full tusk of a mammoth is a rarity and usually big chunks are the normal find. Japanese artists carve delicately on the surface as higher pressure can lead to chipping. No piece of mammoth ivory is wasted due to the rarity of the find. From carved Netsuke of Ebisu to the full mammoth tusk of the Seven Lucky Gods, there are a variety of options to suit all budgets. So, owning a piece of history has become affordable.
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Ivory Carvings of Seven Lucky Gods?admin2019-11-08T13:24:06+00:00