19th century marine ivory netsuke depicting seated poet Saigyo Hoshi, his hands around his knees, contemplating Mount Fuji. Hoshi lived in the 12th century, was a member of the Fujiwara clan, but renounced all his dignities to become a poet and priest. Very good carving, wonderful face with a wide smile, great wear and patina, very pleasant feel of age to the piece. Signed YOSHIYAMA on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 1248 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a man on his knees vigorously cleaning with a stiff brush the Japanese character KOKORO (heart) that forms the base of the netsuke. Netsuke conveys the moral advise to purify your own heart. Unusual material for the subject - for some reason this model is always carved in wood. Excellent carving, wonderful facial expression, mellow patina, old age lines. Signed on the bottom UNPO - this rare carver is listed in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 547, number 3151). Height 1 ...click for details
19th century wooden netsuke of a makatsugyo (dragon-fish) on a base. The creature is rarely depicted in netsuke. According to a Chinese legend, a carp that can swim up the waterfall turns into a dragon, and thus serves as a paragon of perseverance, especially in scholarly pursuits. Excellent carving, great depiction of its face, front paws and spine, beautiful patina. Length 1 3/4 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of 3 water dragons intertwined on top of hexagonal base. Uncommon creature in netsuke, excellent rendition of their fluid bodies. Himotoshi (cord opening) is formed by natural opening in the carving. Beautiful wear and patina, signed SHOMIN on the side - the artist is listed on p. 970 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Length 1 1/4 inches.
19c netsuke WATER DRAGONS by SHOMIN
19th century mixed metal and wood netsuke depicting Kanzan and Jittoku reading an open scroll. According to a legend, Kanzan and Jittoku lived in a kitchen of a Chinese Zen Buddhist monastery and talked nonsensical language, which some took as a sign of them being enlightened.. Superb quality metalwork with inlays of gold and silver, extraordinary faces, the best piece of Japanese metalwork that I ever had. Later hardwood body with beautiful natural grain patterns, one himotoshi is lined with iv ...click for details
19th century coral ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) of simple barrel shape. True coral of beautiful deep salmon natural color (not stained), nice patina on the surface. Height 7/16 inches.
Late 18th to early 19th century ivory netsuke carved as a standing Chinese sage with a fan and what appears to be Japanese scissors in his hands. Excellent early carving, great face, differently sized deep himotoshi in accordance with the habit of the time. Old age lines, wonderful honey-colored patina, especially on the back where netsuke was touching the silk of kimono. Height 1 3/4 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of a squatting chubby baby boy wearing an apron and formal eboshi hat with long tassels that he holds in his hands. The subject is gosho ningyo - ningyo means “human shape”, and "gosho" could be translated as "palace / court" - the latter term referencing the Imperial Palace in Kyoto during the Edo period. This Imperial - patronized doll is a uniquely Japanese form: a caricature of a cute, chubby baby that warms the heart and is both adorable and ye ...click for details
19th century small ivory netsuke of a sennin (Chinese sage) mobbed by four toads. For some unexplainable reason sennin’s face looks exactly like that of Lenin, although the netsuke is probably a humorous take on Gama sennin. Wonderful carving with great quality of facial expression and nice detailing - see the warty backs of the toads. Himotoshi (cord opening) goes under the belt on the back, old age lines. Very nice wear and patina, signed CHOKUSEN on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 343 ...click for details
Early 19th century boxwood netsuke carved as a seated snarling tiger. Great face with somewhat surprised expression, wonderful depiction of its body bulk, powerful paws, beautiful rhythm to the flow of the tail. Himotoshi (cord hole) is formed by natural opening between the feet and the body of the animal. Inlaid ivory eyes with dark horn pupils, beautiful patina, wear to the front of the face. Very good early sculpture. Height 1 7/16 inches.