Chinese Hand-carved Walnut (Hadaio) with Monks and Leaves

Regular price $80.00

Another example that some of the most amazing things in the world are also some of the tiniest is this vintage Chinese hand-carved walnut featuring tiny depictions of  monks, nineteen by my count, with leaves interspersed. What a  feat of painstaking labor and craftsmanship! I would find somewhere pretty special to display this where it can be marveled at appropriately, and maybe place a magnifying glass nearby!

These sorts of nut carvings, called Hediao, became popular in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and by the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had become one of its most appreciated art forms, with royalty and high-ranking officials considering it fashionable to wear carved fruit pit accessories. Most commonly featuring depictions of Buddhist monks--the more packed in the better--they continue to be made, making them difficult to date; I believe this one dates from the early to mid 20th century.

1 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" and in very good vintage condition.