79. Japanese entertainers
ivory, 4 cm high.
I handed over my father's collection of ivories to my nephew several years ago and then saw this beautiful little object in an art gallery while Peter was looking for something else. The man's toe is broken. I had picked the piece up by the clear perspex base, thinking that the figures were attached, but no, they were not, and the figures went flying, so the missing toe is down to my own clumsiness. I was delighted to buy this ivory and bring it home, it is a pleasure to put in the palm of my hand and study closely, each small detail of the patterned clothing, the ribbons beneath the chin. My father would have enjoyed this object and my buying it feels like a continuation. Our daughters are the same, the younger tells me, "we don't do tidy, Mum, we're too fond of stuff."