18th century wooden netsuke of a wonderfully warty frog with a young on its back. Excellent early carving with great sense of volume, dense dark hardwood, beautiful wear and patina with characteristic sheen. Old losses to its front paws digits, right side of its face and young’s front right paw, somehow do not take away from the sculpture. Signed SHUGETSU (for Hogen Shugetsu) on the bottom - this excellent artist is listed on p. 986 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES b ...click for details
Early 19th century ivory netsuke of a mother pounding millet on stalks with a large pestle on a shaped tree stump, while her son is pulling at the tail of a rooster who seems to be very interested in the results of the millet pounding. Unusual subject, very nicely captured mood of the scene, good detailing - see the comb in her hair, black ink highlights, wonderful patina, dust accumulation on the surface. Height 1 3/4 inches.
Early 19th century boxwood netsuke of an alert kirin sitting on oval base with its head raised, flames licking the sides of his body. Great inquisitive face, wonderful depiction of its tail and bumpy spine, eyes are inlaid with bronze. Fantastic sheen from wear, superb patina, very pleasant to hold. Height 1 9/16 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke carved as two shojo, one of them overturning a huge sake jar spilling out his companion and a flood of sake that swirls on the bottom of the netsuke. Shojo are mythical creatures living near the sea, and are particularly fond of sake. Very good work, nice faces with happy drunken expressions, wonderful depiction of the flow of their hair. Expert light staining, very pleasant patina. Signed SHOSAI on the bottom - the artist is listed in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 525, nu ...click for details
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 kanna - a carpenter’s plane. Wonderful carving with great detailing - see the incised wood texture of its body and simulated wear on the rear from mallet strikes. The blade of the plane is made out of horn, beautiful wear, superb patina. Signed TOMOCHIKA on the bottom - the artist must be Tomochika the First as discussed on p. 1148 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Length 1 3/4 inches.
19th century ivory shunga netsuke of a lady taking a bath in a wooden tub and pulling a loincloth off a man seated by the tub and seemingly resisting her advances. Excellent carving conveying the essence of the scene, superb faces, light staining, very pleasant patina and wear. Signed KAGETOSHI on the bottom - this brilliant carver is discussed on p. 554 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Unusual subject for the master, who is better known for his ...click for details
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.
Mid-19th century ivory netsuke depicting a Chinese elder holding a drum and a striker in his hands, and two karako (Chinese boys) clinging to his coat. Excellent carving with wonderful detailed faces (see the teeth of the elder), nice flow to the lines of their robes, great incised textile patterns. Superb patina with fine sheen, beautiful wear. Height 1 7/8 inches.