Early 19th century boxwood netsuke of resting shishi scratching its ear with its hind foot, its mouth open. Rare subject, superb carving with exceptional depiction of its body bulk, beautiful bumps carved all over its body, great face, excellent 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 READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wood netsuke are very rare for the artist - the ...click for details
Late 19c ivory netsuke of a seated man wearing haori (short jacket), glasses on his face helping him to clip his toenails with scissors. Uncommon topic, somehow humorous, beautifully carved, excellent quality mother of pearl inlays on his jacket (every roundel has a different pattern) and horn ones on his hat. Excellent smiling face, fantastic quality depiction of textile patterns. Beautiful patina, in perfect condition - oval inlay on his hat is original plug for the central nerve canal of the ...click for details
Ivory netsuke of a mother goldfish gently protecting its young by covering it with her tail. Beautiful composition perfectly capturing the mood of the scene. Superb clean carving, excellent detailing, beautiful inlays - tortoise shell on the mother and amber on the young, horn inlaid eyes. Signed GODO on the bottom - for a brief discussion of the artist see CONTEMPORARY NETSUKE by Miriam Kinsey, p. 215. Height 1 1/4 inches.
19th century metal and wood netsuke in kagamibuta (mirror lid) form. The top is solid silver worked with medium relief fierce dragon with flames licking its body. Superb quality crisp metalwork - see its face, claws and differentiated scales. Warm patina, beautiful wooden bowl with rich colors, swinging metal loop at the back for the cord. Very powerful piece. Diameter 2 1/16 inches.
Late 19th century Japanese ceramic netsuke representing Bugaku theater mask of Nasori. Uncommon image, crisp detailing, eyes and teeth are highlighted with white enamel, 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 5/8 inches.
19th century Nagoya school wooden netsuke of a seated mythical beast tenroku with its head raised and turned back. Very rare subject, like any dark object does not photograph well. The beast has the head of a goat / dragon with beard and one horn, body of a lion with characteristic star pattern on its coat, hooves of a goat and tufty camel like hump and mane along the spine. The creature is benevolent and is charged with punishing the evildoers. Superb face, wonderful depiction of its slender ne ...click for details
Early 19th century ivory netsuke of an ama - abalone diver girl - wearing a straw skirt and resting on an enormous clam with her elbow on yet another clam. The netsuke is definitely of shunga type - see the very suggestive part of the clam just under her left arm. Superbly carved, fantastic face, beautiful texture to her hair and skirt. Wonderful patina consistent with age, great feel of age, all that a good netsuke should be. Length 1 3/8 inches.
19th century Asakusa school staghorn netsuke in manju shape with openwork carving of samurai mon (feudal lords crests) - 4 on one side and 2 on the other among leaves and stylized clouds. The one representing a triangle inside a triangle is that of the Hojo family: I have not been able to identify the others. Superb design and excellent quality sharp carving, beautiful warm patina, darker porous areas as is usual with staghorn. Clever and charming piece. Diameter 1 1/2 inches.
19th century ivory netsuke of a kneeling laborer grinding tea leaves in a mortar with a flattened disc grinder. Excellent carving - see the portrait quality face with a crooked smile and the muscles of his body. Beautiful even material, wonderful patina. Signed MITSUTOSHI (alternative reading is Koju) on the bottom - the artist is listed in NETSUKE by Neil Davey (p. 498, number 1547). Height 1 1/16 inches.
19th century metal and wood netsuke of a temple bell of Miidera. For the legend of Benkei carrying the bell of Miidera see H. Joly LEGEND IN JAPANESE ART, p. 82. Very nice sharp metalwork, wonderful dragon head on the top of the bell, beautiful patina. Height 1 5/8 inches.