19th century ivory netsuke of reclining Daruma (founder of Zen Buddhism) enveloped in his monastic robe and cape, supporting his head with one hand, and holding a hossu (fly whisk) in the other. Superbly carved, wonderful and unusually relaxed face (as opposed to his conventional expression of severe concentration), excellent depiction of the flow of his robe. Beautiful wear, excellent patina consistent with age. Signed SEISHO on the bottom, wonderful work by the master carver. Length 2 inches.
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Late 18th to early 19th century ivory netsuke of a standing karako (Chinese boy) leaning on a large cloth bag - probably that of Hotei. Excellent early carving, well captured facial expression, beautiful wear and patina consistent with age. Wonderfully etched textile patterns, hair knot is inlaid with black horn. Length 1 1/4 inches.
19th century wooden netsuke depicting 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 peach in one hand, and the other hand resting on his voluminous belly. Very good quality carving - see his face with a slight smile, and wonderful flow of his long robe. Beautiful patina and wear, very pleasant feel of age. Signed SHIGEKAZU on the back - the artist is listed on p. 946 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO RE ...click for details
19th century manju shape horn netsuke of Tametomo, a member of Minamoto clam exiled to the Oshima island, standing in full armor with his long bow, a small islander next to him. The back shows a ship sent to recapture Tametomo sinking after being hit by a single arrow from his bow. Beautiful sharp carving - see the textures of his armor, islander’s clothing and ship detailing. Very pleasant feel of age to the piece, no traces of insect bites usual for horn pieces, wonderful patina. Very good stu ...click for details
Late 19th century Japanese ivory netsuke or small okimono carved as three monkeys helping each other to perform “speak, hear and see no evil” routine. Wonderful faces and hairwork, nice depiction of limbs, light staining, pleasant patina. Length 2 5/8 inches.
Rather unusual 19th century ceramic netsuke of a peasant sitting next to a a rice straw sheaf, wearing a straw raincoat and holding a hat in his hands. Very nice modeling, wonderful smiling face, beautiful red glaze, pleasant patina. Marked on the back with potter’s seal reading KAIRAKU. Length 2 3/8 inches.
19th century Asakusa school staghorn netsuke of obihasami type carved with a design of a woven fence. The hooks at the top and bottom of the piece go around the edges of obi - a sash holding a kimono. Excellent clever and subtle piece typical of Asakusa school, warm patina, darker porous areas as is usual with staghorn. Wonderful representative piece for a collection of different netsuke types. Length 4 1/8 inches.
19th century ivory ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) carved in the round with a continuous design of interlocking maple leaves. Superb clever design closely resembling and definitely predating the work of M. C. Escher. Excellent crisp carving with deep undercutting, metal liner for the central hole, wonderful patina. Height 11/16 inches..
19th century hinoki (cypress wood) netsuke of an actor in a role of a Chinese official with characteristic tablet in his hand. Painted in bright colors in a manner of Shuzan, great quality face, wonderful rendition of Noh theater robes as geometric planes with finely painted textile patterns. Signed CHIKUJU on the back - the artist is mentioned in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 452, number 134). Height 2 3/16 inches.
Rather uncommon 19th century Japanese 3-pronged bronze vajra (thunderbolt) - the primary symbol and ritual implement in Tantric Buddhism. It symbolizes the impenetrable, immovable, immutable, indivisible and indestructible state of enlightenment, as well as male principle of method or skillful means. Three-pronged vajra is a symbol of consecrating the devotee in the triple path of tantric meditation. Three prongs symbolize three different kinds of light issuing from them as follows: 1st prong - ...click for details