Early 19th century wooden netsuke of seated Hotei with karako (Chinese boy) standing next to him. Hotei is one of the 7 Gods of Good Luck and incarnation of Maitreya - the Buddha of the future, and is liked by children. Great smiling face, excellent depiction of the flow of their robes, nice patina, large and deep himotoshi in accordance with the habit of the time. Signed MINKOKU on inlaid mother of pearl plaque on the bottom - the signature is very worn, but still can be read - for information on the carver see NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick, p. 765. Height 1 1/4 inches.