Early 19th century wooden netsuke of several items used in tea ceremony: one large and one small chunk of charcoal, haboki (feather brush for ashes) and a fan painting depicting 3 turtles and a moon partially obscured by clouds. Superb design in Japanese taste invoking tranquility with a touch of melancholy, beautifully carved. Excellent depiction of tree bark, expertly stained, wonderful patina. Large and deep himotoshi in accordance with the habit of the time. Signed MASAKAZU in rectangular re ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of Sugawara Michizane with 3 kamuro (attendants) and a flowering plum tree issuing from rocks behind him. He was a famous calligrapher and a governor, and plum tree is an allusion to one of his best known poems. Excellent carving with minute detailing - see their faces, textile patterns and various implements including swords as well as superb depiction of the rock texture. In wonderful condition, expert staining, great patina, compressed dust on the surface. Signed GY ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke carved as a sculptor working with his chisel and mallet on an unfinished head of a nio - one of the Buddhist Guardian Kings. Wonderful carving - see their distinct faces, glasses on the fece of the sculptor, finely incised textile patterns. Beautiful wear and patina. Signed IKKOSAI on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 512 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 1/4 inches.
Early 19th century ivory netsuke of a cat trying to trap a mouse under a box. Rare and humorous subject - it is rather unusual to see cats in netsuke, and especially in attitudes characteristic for humans - this cat is clearly making fun of a more common subject of a frustrated ratcatcher. Finely carved, great expression on the face of the cat, beautiful wear to the surface, warm mellow patina turning deeper yellow on the bottom where netsuke was touching silk of kimono. Differently sized deep h ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of Sojobo - the tengu king - seated on a cushion and watching 2 toads wrestling by his knee. Tengu are mythological creatures half men, half birds, usually depicted as goblins, and are first-class fighters. Wonderful depiction of the creature with his long nose, long beard, powerful wings and a skull cap. Uncommon topic for netsuke, excellent facial expression, beautifully incised feather patterns on his wings. The bottom of the cushion is carved with a scene of a crab ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a caparisoned horse on fan shaped base. Great quality carving with wonderful face, superb depiction of the mane and trappings with knots and delicately incised textile patterns. Beautiful even ivory material, wonderful warm patina, compressed dust on the surface, very pleasant finish. Signed GYOKUHO on the bottom - this rare artist is listed in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 460, number 397). Comes from the collection of His Royal Highness Prince Henry, Duke of Glouceste ...click for details
Late 18th to early 19th century staghorn netsuke of a snarling shishi (Buddhist lion) with its front paws on a rock, a loose ball in its mouth. Strong early classic piece with wonderful wear and fantastic honey colored patina. Great face, wonderful rhythm to its hairwork (see its mane and bushy tail), himotoshi (cord openings) going through the side down to the bottom, which is typical for the period. Typical porous texture to the material, original hollowed out central part on the bottom. Wonde ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of Koshi (Confucius) standing with his hands folded in his sleeves, and a mythical beast kirin in dog-like stance at his back. According to Chinese legend, kirin only appears when there is a wise sage living in the land. Rare subject, excellent carving with great faces and detailing, old age lines, superb wear and patina consistent with age. Signed TOMOCHIKA on the bottom - the artist is Tomochika the First listed on p. 1148 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO REA ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a man seated on a low table as he lifts a basket woven cover to expose a mushroom in front of him. The netsuke is of shunga type with rather suggestively shaped mushroom. Unusual subject, excellent quality carving see his wonderful face with perfectly captured grin, facial hair and visible upper teeth, delicately incised textile patterns. Beautiful even material, wonderful warm patina, compressed dust on the surface, very pleasant finish. Signed SHUGETSU on the bott ...click for details
Early 19th century staghorn netsuke of a rat on a chestnut with 2 leaves. Very clever design utilizing natural properties of the material - see the porous part of staghorn representing bumpy bottom of the chestnut. Nicely carved, eyes of the rodent are inlaid with black horn, old losses to edges of leaves smoothed by wear, superb wear and patina from 200 years of use. Length 1 1/2 inches.