This is a superior quality wood netsuke carved in the Iwami style by the Contemporary British carver Jack Coutu. It depicts three crawling lice over a partly rolled irregular section of bark. The back of the wood bark is carved in traditional Iwami ukibori style.
"The English artist Jack Coutu studied at Farnham School of Art, the Royal College of Art and the Central School of Art before embarking on a long and successful career during which he has held five one-man shows and contributed to countless group shows, principally of etching and copper-plate engraving which he taught for many years at West Surrey College of Art and Design. An early interest in sculpture led to a period working on church restoration during which Coutu developed an interest in carving small creatures such as frogs on the top of stone capitals. He has been carving netsuke, principally in stagshorn, boar's tusk and wood, for over thirty years and is famously reluctant to offer his exquisite work for sale."
Outstanding detail all throughout. Netsuke is signed JC in an inlaid silver tablet. It is in excellent condition.
Netsuke measures 1.14 inches (2.9 cm) wide, 2.42 inches (6.2cm) long, and 0.45 inches (1.2cm) tall.
NOTE: This netsuke was estimated by Sotheby's at 2,600 British Pounds in 2006