19th century wooden netsuke of a group of three eggplants: the larger one is ripe, its skin ruptured to show the flesh of the vegetable, and one of the smaller one hollowed and lacquered on the inside to be used as a sake cup. Cleverly designed, superb detailed carving - see the texture of the vegetable in the ruptured area, very pleasant wear consistent with age. Dark dense wood - ebony or kurogaki (black persimmon), extraorinary sheen to the surface. Signed MASAYUKI by himotoshi- the artist is discussed on p. 747 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Wonderful piece in Japanese taste. Length 1 9/16 inches.