Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Seated Baku (Mythical Creature Devouring Nightmares)

Edo period (1615–1868)
18th century
H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); W. 1 in. (2.5 cm); D. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1910
Accession Number:
Not on view
The baku is a mythical creature known to devour dreams and nightmares. It has the trunk of an elephant, the tail of an ox and the paws of a tiger .This piece is among the finest netsuke in the collection. Its surface is covered with slightly rounded protuberances, found on eighteenth-century representations of supernatural animals.
[ Adam Clark Vroman , Pasadena, CA , 1910; sold to Sage]. ; Margaret Olivia Sage , New York (1910; donated to MMA).
New York. Queensborough Library Project. "Man Mastery Magick," October 15, 1971–June 12, 1972.

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