Though Shakespeare's line is; "all that glisters (glitters) is not gold", at least in this case it is, superficially. Though not quite like the Maltese falcon, this small sculpture by Tsukigata Nahiko is in fact bronze with a gilding of pure gold over making for a rather opulent and rich looking little piece. Portraying a small shishi balanced and perhaps preforming atop a ball this sculpture is not highly detail, though creatively sculpted to bring the mythical lion dog to life in which you can sense the tension of his balancing act written across its facial expression. The ball is signed by Tsukigata with his Nahiko in English and his engraved mei signature leaving no doubt as to the creator. I have seen a number of bronzes by Tsukigata and have to admit his portrayals of shishi in a variety of poses and purposes, including as a koro, never cease to bring a smile to my face.
"Gold's father is dirt, yet it regards itself as noble." An old proverb