Very unusual 19th century netsuke carved as a sitting man holding a mirror in one hand, and plucking the hair on his chin with tweezers held in the other. Fantastic carving of his face with perfectly captured expression of painful unpleasantness. Beautiful flow to his robe, extremely well made differently sized himotoshi. Superb quality material, wonderful patina with excellent sheen to the surface. Signed on the bottom RYUKOSAI JUGYOKU SAKU (made by Ryukosai Jugyoku) and RYUKEI ZU (designed by Ryukei). Jugyoku (1815-1887) is a superb carver - for discussion see p. 546 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Use of design by Ryukei seems to prove an assumption by Meinertzhagen that Jugyoku studied under Ryukei. Mask maker in very similar position and attitude by Jugyoku is illustrated in Hickmott sale (Sotheby’s New York, February 8, 1989, lot 170). Height 7/8 inches.