Asian Tribal Art - Cast Iron Mouse Okimono, Japan

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Mouse okimono
Cast iron, remnants of copper paint
Mid 20th century
2.25" (5.7 cm) high by 4.5" (11.3 cm) wide

Last year, a small group of cast iron animals was found in a burlap bag in a rural peddler's one-room home in Southwest China. Because of the language barrier, no explanation was provided, but their forms are obviously influenced by a mid-century aesthetic. In a few instances, there are multiple iterations of one animal showing increasing abstraction, as if the artist or studio was exploring the form over time. They may be representations of the zodiac and reportedly hail from Japan as there is a kanji on several of them; this one is unmarked.


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