19th century ivory netsuke of four adult quails and two chicks feeding on millet stalks with leaves. Superb quality carving - see their alert faces, differentiated feathers and finely carved millet stalks, eyes are inlaid with black horn. Wonderful light staining, beautiful wear and patina. Signed KOYU followed by kakihan (carved monogram of the artist) in oval reserve on the bottom. Classic sculpture in great condition. Length 1 7/8 inches.
18th century staghorn netsuke of a shishi standing on a base carved on the bottom as a seal. Most probably it was used as a silk seal to mark documents accompanying raw silk imported from China, but could have been a personal seal as well. Strong early carving with bold features, great power to the animal. Deeply cut characters on the bottom. Porous part of stag antler on the top of shishi’s head is plugged as is usual in staghorn pieces, and the plug is carved as part of the netsuke. Excellent ...click for details
19th century delicate ivory netsuke of a standing man wearing voluminous robe and ebony courtier’s hat, and holding a bowl in his hand. The subject is probably some religious ceremony. Excellent smiling face with red and black highlights, wonderful flow to the robe, very beautiful yellow patina. Height 1 3/4 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke of a theatrical mask of Hyottoko (perplexed peasant) leaning against a small drum. Clever design, nice carving, nicely incised wood grain on the body of the drum, nails on the drum are inlaid with ivory or bone. Nice wear and patina, pleasant warm staining. Signed KYOKUSEN on the back - the artist is listed in NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick, p. 686. Length 1 1/4 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke of Thunder God Raiden standing on his drum that he tore open by beating it with a striker on the clouds. According to Japanese folklore by beating the drum Raiden creates thunder. The stretched leather part of the drum is lacquered in Negoro style: red lacquer over black, so as it wears the black starts showing. The bottom of the drum is carved as a seal, with a seal script signature reading HARUYOSHI (alternative reading is Shunko) in a reserve shaped like a mallet ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a boy seated by a low stand using a pointer for reading a book. Beautiful carving, absolutely wonderful face, excellent wear and patina. Signed KOZAN in on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 680 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 3/8 inches.
19th century staghorn netsuke of a salamander on a length of half rotten trunk with some leaves on the inside and bark on the outside. Unusual subject, excellent quality carving - see its face with inlaid eyes, smooth skin and well defined paws. Porous center of the carving as is the nature of staghorn, beautiful wear and patina, signed HEISHIN on the bottom. Length 2 inches.
19th century ivory and wood netsuke representing a square bowl with a pile of cooked beans inside. Superb clever design in Japanese taste, prefectly carved and stained ivory beans, beautifully rendered shabbiness of an old worn wooden bowl with scars from long and useful life. Very humble with a lot of character. Size: 1 5/16 inches square.
19th century wooden netsuke of a tobacco purse. Simple elegant design in Japanese taste, beautifully carved different textile patterns, bronze nails for clasp, superb patina, extremely pleasant to handle. Length 1 3/4 inches.
Late Meiji (1890 to 1912) Japanese ceramic netsuke representing a Kyogen theater mask of Karasu-tengu (also called Tobi). Tengu are mythological creatures - half men, half birds - usually depicted as goblins, and known to be first-class fighters. Uncommon mask, excellent modeling, crisp detailing, white enamel highlights, slight darkening of protruding parts, overall in excellent condition. Impressed with seal SEKIHO on the back - the artist is listed in NETSUKE MASKS by Raymond Bushell, p. 176, ...click for details