Real Masterpiece: cheroot holder in carved ivory. True japanese art, signed MASANAO, Probably yamada-Ise School, half/late 19th century. Artistic handcraft made in the beautiful ivory tone honey with nice veinings. It consists in a bas-relief of a monkey who tries to chase a butterfly. Some parts of tongue and mouth are also painted in pink. Pupils of eyes probably made of black bone. Very small, hence very precious, as it's really difficult to obtain such a perfectly realistic carved image out of a small piece of ivory. It is signed by the artist MASANAO, with signature marked in red lacquer. Mouthpiece, also finely carved, presents a few marks made by tooth; junction piece (black wood or horn) is broken and should be repaired or substituted. Except this minor damage, the handcraft is perfectly preserved. The two pieces together are slightly less than 9 cm (5 cm. the cylinder and 4 cm. the mouthpiece). The scene is artistically interpreted with high descriptive realism. Highly refined carving as well as smoothing treatment of surfaces and margins. A jewel of great value for collectors. Property due to inheritance. Declaration of legal origin and ante-1947 no CITES relevance declaration supplied.