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.
19th century coral ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) of simple barrel shape. True coral of beautiful deep salmon natural color (not stained), nice patina on the surface. Height 1/2 inches (12.5 mm), weight 3.5 grams.
Japanese ivory okimono of smiling Daikoku - one of 7 Gods of Happiness - holding a white rabbit in his hand, and with his foot on a bag of rice. The okimono is a joke on Daikokuís sanity - heís got the wrong rodent: rat is the standard companion of Daikoku (who, being the God of Wealth, is associated with rice, and rats thrive when there is abundance of grain). Wonderful clean carving with great smiling face and excellent textures of his robe and rabbitís fur, superb staining, in perfect conditi ...click for details
Japanese bronze okimono of a resting wild boar, its head raised and mouth open showing its teeth. Did not photograph well. Extraordinary quality work, superb face with alertly raised snout, sharply modeled hooves, perfectly sculpted coat, inlaid glass eyes with black pupils. Beautiful patina, pleasantly heavy, in perfect condition. Signed with raised characters MITSUMOTO SAKU (made by Mitsumoto) on the bottom. Probably the best piece of metalwork that I have ever had. Length 6 3/8 inches.
19th century golden lacquer netsuke of a sitting boy tugging at his face below his eye with a smiling expression, his tongue sticking out while he is hiding a toy drum / rattle behind his back. This gesture, called Bekkako, is from a child's game and translates as something like "see my eye" while teasing a playmate and inviting him to guess what is hidden behind your back. Wonderful modeling and lacquer work, good anatomical detailing on the bottom, details if his bib are inlaid w ...click for details