Ivory netsuke of an owl sitting on a tree stump with fresh branches and leaves. Excellent quality detailed carving, wonderful face with somewhat puzzled expression, beautiful depiction of differentiated feathers, pleasant patina, eyes are inlaid with black horn. Signed MASAMITSU (alternative reading is Shoko) on the bottom. Wonderful netsuke by the master carver. Height 1 5/8 inches.
19th century kagamibuta (“mirror lid”) netsuke with ivory top and ivory bowl. The top is carved with two piebald puppies in different attitudes, all on a textured ground. Wonderful depiction of their brown spots and chunky bodies. Beautiful patina on ivory, compressed dust in crevices, gray silk cord. Diameter 1 7/16 inches.
Early 19th century staghorn and lacquer netsuke of two abalone shells. Excellent and completely realistic carving of shell textures, bottom parts representing the flesh of the animals are lacquered dark green. Large himotoshi (cord openings), beautiful warm patina. Length 2 inches.
Ivory netsuke of a hare seated on its behind, body upright, its head raised alertly. Superb carving to the last detail, great face and realistic posture capturing the essence of the creature. Beautiful rendition of its body volume, eyes are double inlaid with light and dark horn, excellent patina. Signed IKUMI on the bottom followed by the seal of the artist - this excellent carver is the wife of Bishu, and her work is very rare. Fantastic sculpture, all that a great netsuke shall be. Height 2 3 ...click for details
19th century boxwood netsuke carved in a shape of a cloth toy of Daruma - the founder of Zen Buddhism - enveloped in monk’s robe. Wonderfully carved, great depiction on the soft body of the doll sagging towards the bottom. Superb austere face, eyes inlaid with dark horn, excellent patina and wear. Signed MASANAO for Masanao of Ise on the bottom - for the discussion of the group of carvers signing their work with this name see pp. 80-81 of COLLECTORS NETSUKE by Bushell. Great netsuke by the maste ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke of two inebriated Chinese sages merrily fortifying themselves with wine while seated on the back of caparisoned elephant. Wonderful carving, great faces, wine pot and cup in the hands of the sages, robe details, animal face, feet and trappings, very happy mood to the scene. Superb wear and patina turning deeper yellow on the back where it was touching the silk of kimono. It may look that there had been a loss to the tip of the left hand of the sage on the right, but th ...click for details
Rather unusual complete 19th century burlwood set consisting of tobakoire (tobacco box, or inro with just one compartment), ojime and netsuke. Netsuke is very cleverly made out of one piece naturally representing a turtle with its head sticking out of the carapace. The material of the whole set is natural burl with superb play of wood colors and textures wonderfully resembling swirling clouds. Beautiful play of shades of wood colors from light brown to black. Red lacquer on the inside of tobakoi ...click for details
19th century ivory netsuke carved as inu-bariko - a papier-mâché box in a shape of a simplified dog. Opens to reveal a carved bar inside the upper part that serves as himotoshi. Nicely carved, great smiling face, black ink highlights, gold lacquering to the top of the lower part, pleasant wear and patina. Signed GYOKUBUN on the bottom - the artist is listed on p. 423 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Length 1 5/16 inches.
Good size late Meiji (1890s to 1912) ivory netsuke of reclining Soshi wearing flower decorated robe and leaning on his hand as he falls fast asleep. Soshi was a Chinese philosopher who dreamt he was a butterfly, and could not in his dream decide whether he had become a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly who had borrowed his form. Essentially the netsuke is a reminder of relativity of personal opinion. Very nice carving, wonderful tranquil face, delicately incised and etched patterns on h ...click for details
19th century Asakusa school staghorn netsuke of obihasami type carved with character KEI meaning LAW. The hooks at the top and bottom of the piece go around the edges of obi - a sash holding a kimono. Excellent clever and subtle piece typical of Asakusa school, warm patina, darker porous areas as is usual with staghorn. Signed MASAYUKI in square reserve on the back - the artist is listed on p. 747 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Length 4 inches ...click for details