19th century netsuke of a puppy wearing a collar with a bell and lying on an old straw sandal. Wonderful quality carving - see its right front paw lifting a straw rope that it is about to chew, its chubby body and perfectly rendered texture of woven straw of the sandal. Signed KAIGYOKUSAI in rectangular reserve on the bottom - the netsuke is carved by Masateru, whose more common signature is KAIGYOKU MADO MASATERU (Kaigyoku’s grandson, Masateru). The artist indeed was a grandson of the great Kaigyokusai, and is listed on p. 731 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Darker round area on its left front paw is the original plug of the central nerve canal of the tusk used for carving. Beautiful patina, old age lines, himotoshi is formed by one of the straw strands on the bottom. Length 2 inches.