19th century wooden netsuke carved as standing Hotei (one of the 7 Gods of Good Luck, also considered to be the incarnation of Maitreya - the Buddha of the future) with a boy clinging to his side and supporting a large tama (Precious Gem) on his shoulder. Wood is lacquered in Negoro style - red lacquer over black, so as it wears the black starts showing, some gold lacquer highlights as well. Great quality carving - see his face with the slightest of smiles. Beautiful patina and wear (especially ...click for details
19th century boxwood netsuke of a snail crawling on top of a discarded zori (straw sandal). Unusual subject - a frog on a sandal is much more common, excellent rendition of the textured soft skin and hard shell of the mollusc, and of woven sandal texture, great depiction of the creature’s eyes and antennae. The looped thong of the sandal forms the himotoshi (cord opening), very beautiful warm brown staining, great patina, in excellent condition. Signed MASANAO (for Masanao of Ise) in rectangula ...click for details
19th century wooden netsuke of a hunter with a flintlock rifle trapped by an enormous scrotum of a badger. Uncommon topic in netsuke, excellent crisp carving, superb faces - distressed one of the hunter and cold smiling one of the badger, wonderful hairwork, great detailing of the hands of the hunter and veins on the scrotum, beautiful patina. Signed JURAKU on the foot of the hunter - the artist is listed in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 477, number 962). Length 1 1/2 inches.
19th century wooden netsuke of hibachi (portable charcoal-burning brazier) on 3 low legs and filled with short pieces of wood and charcoals. Unusual subject in Japanese taste, perfectly caught “wabi-sabi” essence of the object with its elegant simplicity. Beautiful carving, wonderful depiction of wood structures in the logs. Beautiful wear and patina. Signed SHOJUKEN MASATOMO on the bottom - for information on this rare artist see NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by Ge ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a seated karako (Chinese boy) holding down a turtle with one hand, and a long stemmed cup in the other. Very strong early carving, great face with a bright smile, excellent textile patterns. Hair knots on his head are inlaid with black horn, wonderful wear consistent with age, beautiful patina. Height 1 1/4 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of 2 sitting wine drinkers, and one standing, holding a wine pot. Netsuke subject appears to be SANNIN JOGO - the three drunkards showing the varying effects of sake: laughter, weeping and anger. As any dark object, does not photograph well. Uncommon topic, great faces, nicely incised textile patterns, beautiful wear to the surface, wonderful warm patina. Himotoshi are formed by natural openings in the carving. Signed YUSAI on the bottom - for information on the artist ...click for details
Early 19th century wooden netsuke of two sitting puppies. Very good early carving, wonderful depiction of their slightly clumsy bodies, beautiful wear and deep brown patina, eyes inlaid with black horn. Very pleasant feel of age to the piece. Signed YASUHISA on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 1232 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 1/8 inches.
19th century kagamibuta (“mirror lid”) netsuke with ivory top and ivory bowl. The top is carved with two piebald puppies in different attitudes, all on a textured ground. Wonderful depiction of their brown spots and chunky bodies. Beautiful patina on ivory, compressed dust in crevices, gray silk cord. Diameter 1 7/16 inches.
Early 19th century staghorn and lacquer netsuke of two abalone shells. Excellent and completely realistic carving of shell textures, bottom parts representing the flesh of the animals are lacquered dark green. Large himotoshi (cord openings), beautiful warm patina. Length 2 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke carved in a shape of a cloth toy of Daruma - the founder of Zen Buddhism - enveloped in monk’s robe. Wonderfully carved, great depiction on the soft body of the doll sagging towards the bottom. Superb austere face, eyes inlaid with dark horn, excellent patina and wear. Signed MASANAO for Masanao of Ise on the bottom - for the discussion of the group of carvers signing their work with this name see pp. 80-81 of COLLECTORS NETSUKE by Bushell. Great netsuke by the maste ...click for details