Ivory statue of the deity Shen Nung, Japan, 1871-1900

Made:
1871-1900 in Japan

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory statue depicting the deity Shen Nung, seated on a goat, signed Masahisa, Japanese, 1871-1900

Shen Nung is known within Chinese mythology as the ‘Divine Farmer’. He taught the ancient Chinese the practice of agriculture. He is also known as the Father of Chinese medicine. Shen Nung is credited with the discovery of hundreds of medicinal herbs. He is part-mythical figure and part-emperor. Shen Nung is thought to have ruled China about 5000 years ago. This statue of Shen Nung (also known as Shennong) depicts him seated on a goat with a rolled scroll in his hand. It is made from ivory with tortoiseshell and mother of pearl decorations. He is depicted as a ‘man of the earth’ with a leaf cloak and hat. The statue is signed Masahisa.

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Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Object Number:
A642975
Materials:
ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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