19th century ivory netsuke of reclining tanuki (badger) leaning on an empty sake bottle in an attitude of drunken stupor, its gaze heavy, a paw on its extended belly. Extraordinary depiction of its human pose and mood, superbly carved to the last detail - see its fur, rope on the bottle and its powerful paws. Eyes are beautifully inlaid with light horn and made live by painted pupils. Excellent wear and patina. Three characters on the sake bottle read ISEYA which is a popular name for a liquor s ...click for details
19th century boxwood netsuke of a toad sitting on a discarded zori (straw sandal). Excellent rendition of the skin and paws, and texture of woven sandal, great facial expression. Eyes of the toad are inlayed with dark horn, the looped thong of the sandal forms the himotoshi (cord opening). Signed MASANAO (for Masanao of Ise) in rectangular reserve on the bottom of the sandal - for the discussion of the group of carvers signing their work with this name see pp. 80-81 of COLLECTORS NETSUKE by Bush ...click for details
Ivory netsuke of a man seated by a hot sand brazier with a kettle on it, putting a book aside and stretching his arms. Excellent detailed carving - his his wonderful face, tobacco pouch with pipe case by his side, a ladle for stirring the sand, brazier, book and kettle textures. Beautifully stained and finished. Signed GYOKUSHO on the bottom - for a brief discussion of the artist see CONTEMPORARY NETSUKE by Miriam Kinsey, p. 216. Height 1 3/4 inches.
Rather unusual 19th century black stone netsuke of a man wearing a grass skirt and holding a club, seated leaning on rockery. Like any dark object does not photograph well. The character represented must be one of 108 heroes of Suikoden - a Chinese book called Shui Hu Chuan (Suikoden in Japanese, The Water Margin in English) was very popular in the capital Edo. It contained numerous tales of an outlaw named Sung-Chiang and his 108 followers. Wonderful expressive face, beautiful patina, great fee ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of a squatting chubby baby boy wearing a short jacket and a small formal eboshi hat tied under his chin, and holding a sea brim in his hands. Wonderful quality carving with great depiction of his fat limbs, face and body, double gourd patterns on his jacket, and fish scales. Very beautiful wear and patina. Signed cursively GYOKUSHI on the bottom. Height 1 inch.
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
19th century ivory netsuke of an ama (girl diving for abalone shells) falling asleep on ae enormous abalone shell encrusted with barnacles, while an octopus hides under the shell. The netsuke is of implied shunga type - usually an octopus is much more amorous and tries to embrace a girl. Superb carving with extraordinary tranquil face, beautiful depiction of her body and her hair tied in knot. Signed RYOMIZU TO (carved by Ryomizu) on the bottom. Very beautiful sculpture. Length 1 11/16 inches.
19th century mixed metal and wood netsuke of a boy quietly playing flute while leaning against a side of a resting buffalo, 2 baskets next to him. The subject is ushidoji (also called bokudo) symbolizing the perfect peace of mind, and is considered to be one of the stages on the way to the Buddhahood. Excellent quality metalwork of shakudo (buffalo), solid silver (boy) and copper (baskets), perfectly captured mood of the scene. Fruitwood body, some darkening to the back, very pleasant wear and p ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of one large and 2 smaller eggplants. Wonderful piece with bold design, excellent naturalistic depiction of the stem parts of the vegetables. Unusually fat, beautiful wear and patina. Signed SADAYOSHI on the side - the artist is listed on p. 907 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Height 1 3/8 inches.
19th century ivory ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) carved in the round as a doll representing Zen Buddhism Patriarch Daruma with his legs and arms stretched in front of him, forming a cord opening. Excellent clever carving, great face and hairy limbs, wonderful warm patina. Height 3/4 inches.