Meiji Japanese Large Wood Carving of Water Buffalo and Boy


A large cherry wood carving of a water buffalo, with a famer boy riding on its back, made in Meiji Period Japan, in the last quarter of the 19th century.

The quality of the carving is exceptional, the hair on the buffalo is expressed in delicate striations, which at points spiral into subtle rosettes. The teeth on both the buffalo and boy are of bone, whilst the eyes are of coloured glass. The wicker basket carried by the boy has an open section for burning incense.

The figure is mounted on a carved naturalistic base, the rolling peaks and troughs there to convey the effects of water in a marsh.

The condition of the figure is generally very good, though there are a few faults in the grain of the wood. The horns of the bull look to have undergone some restoration, whilst the hardwood base has some minor stress cracks.

Size: 33.5 x 21 x
Weight: 2.7kg