18th century netsuke of a reclining shishi (Buddhist lion) snarling at its cub while having its front paws on a ball. Extremely strong early Kyoto school piece with wonderful wear consistent with age, warm patina turning honey color on the bottom where it was touching the silk of kimono. Excellent hairwork (see their bushy tails and manes), differently sized and deep himotoshi in accordance with the habit of the time. There is an almost identical netsuke in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Great sculpture, all that the netsuke shall be. Length 2 1/16 inches.