An Arita figure of an Immortal, Japanese, circa 1680/1700.

An early-enamelled figure of an Immortal, shown riding on the back of a’ flaming tortoise:’ the carapace of the turtle depicted in honeycomb diaper, 12cm high, 20cm wide.

Such creatures are often depicted encrusted with seaweed, thus seemingly ‘flaming.’ 

The accretion of seaweed is suggestive of age, in a traditional symbol of longevity, which may be extended to suggest immortality.

The tortoise, or turtle, has a silver mount to the beak.


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