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Full sheet

Daruma Dolls. c.1900. Dark ground Japanese paper stencil on mulberry paper treated with persimmon juice and smoked. Thrust-cut technique. 8 1/2 x 13 (sheet 12 5/8 x 16 1/8).. Signed, lower right. It is highly unusual for stencils to be signed. Ex-collection Arthur Wesley Dow. $300.

Daruma dolls are hollow and round Japanese wish dolls with no arms or legs, modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen. They are said to have got their rounded shape because he lost the use of his legs after sitting in meditation for nine years. Daruma dolls are used to help wishes come true. They are popular in Japan, particularly at the time of the New Year celebrations.

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