Mid 19th century Chinese textile kesi rank badge (also called mandarin square) denoting the seventh civil rank symbolized by the bird on the badge - the Mandarin Duck. The badge is from the front of an official’s robe and consists of 2 vertical halves allowing the garment to be opened, now sown together. Woven designs include sun, rocks among waves and clouds, bats in flight, fungus of Immortality, peaches, peonies, lotus flowers and other Emblems of the 8 Immortals, Buddhist Emblems and Eight T ...click for details
Late Qing Dynasty (1890s to 1911) embroidered Chinese textile rank badge (also called mandarin square) denoting the fifth civil rank symbolized by the bird on the badge - the Silver Pheasant. Designs on background include lotus flowers, fish, butterfly and bats in flight among stylized clouds and above the waves. Flower borders, colors slightly faded, original backing. Size 11x11.5 inches.
Late Qing Dynasty (1890s to 1911) embroidered Chinese textile rank badge (also called mandarin square) denoting the third civil rank symbolized by the bird on the badge - the Peacock. Designs on background include peach, pomegranate, fish, shell and bats in flight among clouds and above the fungus of Immortality over the waves. Keyfret borders with peach, pomegranate and Buddha’s hand citron motifs, colors slightly faded, newer backing. Size 9x9.5 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of Shinsui - the Four Sleepers - sennin Bukan Zenshi, his tiger, his friends Kanzan with a scroll and Jittoku leaning on a broom. Bukan Zenshi (Pu Hsien in Chinese) was a 7th century priest and is usually shown with a tiger as his attendant. According to a Chinese legend, Kanzan and Jittoku lived during the Tang Dynasy in a kitchen of a Chinese Zen Buddhist monastery and talked nonsensical language, which some took as a sign of them being enlightened. The scene symboli ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of Hotei - one of the 7 Gods of Good Luck and incarnation of Maitreya (the Buddha of the future) - seated inside his bag holding a Precious Jewel and being pulled along by 2 karako (Chinese boys). Somewhat unusual subject, superb faces, beautifully incised hairy belly of Hotei, minute detailing of their robes including various textile patterns. Great patina turning yellow on the back, pleasantly heavy. Signed CHIKAHIDE on the bag. Length 2.5 inches.
Late 19th century okimono (or a large netsuke) of an octopus with its tentacles curled up forming a nice compact shape. Wonderful face of a space alien, great depiction of its numerous suction cups, eyes are inlaid with dark horn. Beautiful patina, old age lines, very pleasant to hold, excellent sculpture. Height 1 1/2 inches.
19th century ebony netsuke of an alert rat crouching on a length of wood. Did not photograph well. Superb quality carving of the rodent’s face, joints of its fingers and tail texture as well as perfectly represented cracked texture of the log. Beautiful sheen to the surface from wear, pleasantly chunky. Signed HIDEMASA SAKU (made by Hidemasa) on the bottom - judging by the subject, carving style and material the artist belonged to the Iwami school and is listed on p. 461 of NETSUKE & INRO AR ...click for details
19th century wooden netsuke of a resting horse with head turned to the right, its legs bent beneath its body. Did not photograph well. Excellently carved, superb face with eyes double inlaid with light and dark horn. Great depiction of its body bulk and flow of its mane. Wonderful wear and patina consistent with age, extremely pleasant to hold. Length 1 7/16 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke of a South Sea Islander wearing a straw skirt held by rope belt seated on rockery and holding a large ball with an opening that reveals a rolling ball inside it. Excellent face with unhappy pensive expression, great carving of straw and rock textures, beautiful staining and patina. Signed ISSAI on the bottom - for information on the artist see p. 517 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wonderful work by the master carve ...click for details
Late Meiji (1890s to 1912) small ivory netsuke of a crouching dragon with its head turned back. Must have been a child’s netsuke given to somebody born in a year of the dragon. Nicely captured posture, good carving of the beast’s face, tail and scales. Signed KAZUNARI (alternative reading is Issaku) on its foot. Length 1 5/16 inches.