A fully articulated sculpture of a hawk made by the master Japanese sculptor Itao Shinjiro (1842-1911) is the highest valued lot of Bonhams Fine Japanese Art auction, which is due to be held on May 16 in London.
The piece holds an estimate of up to £120,000 ($185,628). This style of sculpture is known in Japan as jizai okimono, though it is not clear for what purpose they were intended.
It is thought that the master armourers of the Edo period (1603-1868) first created these models during peaceful times, as the endless demand for armour and weaponry dried up. Turning their skills to a different medium, the figures reflect the plated style of samurai armour.
A silver model of a dragon created during Japan's Meiji period sold for $128,500 at Bonhams' sale of Japanese art during Asia Week New York in March. Sign up to our free weekly newsletter to see all the latest sale results and never miss a trick when it comes to collecting.