Japanese silver minogame with details finely cast, with gilt eyes and long feathery tail swept to one side signed with chiselled characters Ryūbundō zo 龍文堂造 (made by Ryūbundō) and stamped with mark Gin 銀 (silver), Meiji period 1868-1912.
The minogame 蓑亀 (美濃亀) is a mythical turtle that can live many thousand years with a long feathery tail made of seaweed, and is a symbol of longevity and happiness.
The Ryūbundō Company was based in Kyoto and became famous for their bronze kettles. After taking part at the Vienna Exposition in 1873 they successfully began working with other materials.
For a smaller model of a silver minogame see: 'The Golden Age of Japanese Okimono-The Dr. Kanter's Collection' by Laura Bordignon, ACC Woodbridge 2010, Metalwork no. 242 and 243.
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