19th century Japanese ivory netsuke carved as a peasant on a Buddhist temple pilgrimage with a scarf wrapped around his head, a Buddhist gong hanging off his neck, and a striker in one hand. Wonderful face with widely open mouth, very good detailing, traces of worn black, red and golden lacquer giving the piece a great feel of age, beautiful patina. Height 2 3/16 inches.
19th century bone / staghorn netsuke in a shape of a typical Japanese wooden tub for washing with 2 rows of rope on the outside. Wonderful simple object beautifully carved, central peg with a hole in the back part serves as himotoshi, old silk cord. Excellent patina, great sense of dignity to the piece. Diameter 1 1/8 inches.
19th century red coral ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) in flattened ball shape. Natural red coral with porous structure, wonderful simplicity to the piece, large central hole, beautiful patina. Diameter at the widest 13/16 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of Shinsui - the Four Sleepers - sennin Bukan Zenshi, his tiger, his friends Kanzan with a scroll and Jittoku leaning on a broom. Bukan Zenshi (Pu Hsien in Chinese) was a 7th century priest and is usually shown with a tiger as his attendant. According to a Chinese legend, Kanzan and Jittoku lived during the Tang Dynasy in a kitchen of a Chinese Zen Buddhist monastery and talked nonsensical language, which some took as a sign of them being enlightened. The scene symboli ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of Hotei - one of the 7 Gods of Good Luck and incarnation of Maitreya (the Buddha of the future) - seated inside his bag holding a Precious Jewel and being pulled along by 2 karako (Chinese boys). Somewhat unusual subject, superb faces, beautifully incised hairy belly of Hotei, minute detailing of their robes including various textile patterns. Great patina turning yellow on the back, pleasantly heavy. Signed CHIKAHIDE on the bag. Length 2.5 inches.
Late 19th century okimono (or a large netsuke) of an octopus with its tentacles curled up forming a nice compact shape. Wonderful face of a space alien, great depiction of its numerous suction cups, eyes are inlaid with dark horn. Beautiful patina, old age lines, very pleasant to hold, excellent sculpture. Height 1 1/2 inches.
19th century ebony netsuke of an alert rat crouching on a length of wood. Did not photograph well. Superb quality carving of the rodentís face, joints of its fingers and tail texture as well as perfectly represented cracked texture of the log. Beautiful sheen to the surface from wear, pleasantly chunky. Signed HIDEMASA SAKU (made by Hidemasa) on the bottom - judging by the subject, carving style and material the artist belonged to the Iwami school and is listed on p. 461 of NETSUKE & INRO AR ...click for details
19th century wooden netsuke of a resting horse with head turned to the right, its legs bent beneath its body. Did not photograph well. Excellently carved, superb face with eyes double inlaid with light and dark horn. Great depiction of its body bulk and flow of its mane. Wonderful wear and patina consistent with age, extremely pleasant to hold. Length 1 7/16 inches.
19th century boxwood netsuke of a South Sea Islander wearing a straw skirt held by rope belt seated on rockery and holding a large ball with an opening that reveals a rolling ball inside it. Excellent face with unhappy pensive expression, great carving of straw and rock textures, beautiful staining and patina. Signed ISSAI on the bottom - for information on the artist see p. 517 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wonderful work by the master carve ...click for details
Late Meiji (1890s to 1912) small ivory netsuke of a crouching dragon with its head turned back. Must have been a childís netsuke given to somebody born in a year of the dragon. Nicely captured posture, good carving of the beastís face, tail and scales. Signed KAZUNARI (alternative reading is Issaku) on its foot. Length 1 5/16 inches.