Very unusual late 19th century Japanese set of 20 ceramic theater masks netsuke mounted on wooden board with old silk brocade front and rosewood frame. Excellent modeling, crisp detailing, enamel highlights, slight darkening of protruding parts from wear, very nice patina. each is impressed with seal SEKIHO on the back - the artist is listed in NETSUKE MASKS by Raymond Bushell, p. 176, signatures 258-260. The masks are held by lengths of wire, and can easily be removed from the board if needed. ...click for details
Very tall early 19th century ivory netsuke of a foreigner in richly decorated Chinese dress with a karako (Chinese boy) sitting on his shoulders. He is holding a scroll in one hand, and there is a small drum hanging off his belt on his right side. Strong early carving, excellent detailing, wonderful face with a perfectly captured expression of slight madness, textile highlights on his belly are inlaid with turtle shell. The netsuke is slightly curved backwards, so does not really stand on it own ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a man with a horn on his head, bent under the weight of a richly dressed woman on his back. The subject of the netsuke is Ikkaku Sennin (single horn Sage) - according to Japanese legend, he grew angry with the Rain Dragons and sealed them away in a cave, causing a drought. Beautiful Indian princess Sendarama was sent to tempt him and when he yielded to her, he lost his magical powers, and the rain returned. Excellent carving with portrait quality faces, superb depic ...click for details
Unusual 19th century Japanese tsuishu (cinnabar lacquer) netsuke of an exceedingly fat puppy seated on a fan-shaped cushion. Great facial expression, excellent sense of volume, precise carving of brocade patterns on the cushion. Tsuishu is rather uncommon material for netsuke. Very beautiful patina. Length 1 3/16 inches.
19th century wooden netsuke of seated Kintaro leaning on a large axe in front of him. Kintaro, the child of the forest (also known as Kintoki) was raised by Yama Uba, and possessed an extraordinary strength. Nice quality carving, wonderful depiction of his face and clothing. Wood is lacquered in Negoro style - red lacquer over black, so as it wears the black and then wood starts showing, beautiful wear and patina. Height 1 7/16 inches.
19th century/Meiji period Japanese ivory paper knife/page turner with raised and sunken relief carving of an owl on a branch watching a moth in flight. Design continues on the back showing an open wing of the owl and some vegetation. Excellent detailed carving of the birdís differentiated feathers, eyes inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Great patina, signed KANEMITSU on the back. Beautiful high quality material, wonderful object for a desk in excellent condition. Length 8 1/4 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke of a standing man wearing a courtierís hat and hugging a huge bell. Wonderful carving, great face with horn inlaid eyes, beautiful patina, old and not really noticeable loss to the opening of the bell on the back caused by its intended use as himotoshi (cord opening). Signed MASAMINE on the bottom - for information on this left-handed carver, whose work in wood is rather rare see NETSUKE & NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Laza ...click for details
Late 19th century Japanese ceramic netsuke representing a Noh theater mask of Hashihime - a ghost of a wildly jealous woman. Uncommon image, crisp detailing, slight darkening of protruding parts from wear, overall in excellent condition. Impressed with seal SEKISEN on the back - the artist is listed in NETSUKE MASKS by Raymond Bushell, p. 177, signature 264. Height 1 9/16 inches.
Late 19th century Japanese ceramic netsuke representing a Noh theater mask of Demon Hannya. Crisp modeling with beautiful detailing, white enamel highlights, overall in excellent condition. Impressed with seal SEKIHO on the back - the artist is listed in NETSUKE MASKS by Raymond Bushell, p. 176, signatures 258-260. Height 1 13/16 inches.
Late 19th century Japanese ceramic netsuke representing a Kyogen theater mask of Bishamon - one of the 7 Gods of Good Fortune. He is a God of riches, an equivalent of Vaishravana, and thus is the protector of the Northern direction. Crisp detailing, great severe face, white enamel highlights, overall in excellent condition. Impressed with seal ONKO on the back - the artist does not seem to be recorded, but is clearly a master potter. Height 1 1/2 inches.