circa 1860

A stag antler muso-zutsu, intricately carved with a dynamic scene of five dragons amid swirling clouds. The body of the largest dragon forms sinuous loops and has short webbed wings. To the front of the pipe case another large dragon hovers protectively above a small tama, a smaller dragon rising up beneath it, while rays of light emanate downwards from the precious jewel. The lower part of the case depicts churning water and crashing waves. The three-toed Japanese dragon is associated with water and rain, the precious jewel being fiercely guarded by the dragon king of the sea.

Length: 22.0cm

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